Going beyond pregnancy and COVID-19, the world could someday soon come to rely on at-home tests for many diseases thanks in part to AI-fuelled improvements. University of Florida (UF) scientists have used artificial intelligence tools to simplify a test that works for both hepatitis C and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The simplified test happens in one small test tube in just a few minutes. With further refinement, it could come to doctor’s offices soon and, one day, even home tests that are as easy as a pregnancy test.
Hepatitis C tests are getting easier. That’s the promise on the horizon as new testing methods are introduced or trialed.
Current conventional hepatitis C testing consists of a blood test for hepatitis C antibodies, followed by a PCR test for the hepatitis C RNA, if antibody test comes back positive. There is the usual waiting period of a week or more after each test. For busy people or transient populations, that poses a challenge. Others are put off by the need to draw blood.