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Results on your schedule. Answers in your hands.

Rapid tests are essential tools to help diagnose what’s behind your symptoms, so you can treat earlier and get well sooner.

Easier access. Faster results. That’s the power of rapid testing.

There’s rarely a convenient time to take a medical test. The good news is, you no longer need to go out of your way to get fast, simple, and more accessible testing. From corner pharmacies to local urgent care clinics, our rapid test products are widely available. The same testing technology that is used in doctor's offices & emergency rooms is now also available in convenient care locations. Rapid tests are essential tools in helping to reduce the spread because they quickly identify respiratory infections.

Sign up for Rapid Insights, our email series on rapid testing.

This program will teach you about rapid tests and how they can quickly identify illnesses like the flu, COVID-19, RSV, and strep throat. Rapid testing can help you get treated earlier and get well sooner.

Experiencing symptoms?

When you don’t feel well, it’s easy to describe your symptoms. What’s much harder is knowing the reason you feel sick in the first place. That’s because a sore throat, cough, and runny or stuffy nose could describe different respiratory infections. And the way you treat them can differ greatly.  Learn about different respiratory infections and rapid testing options

Every test has a role

There are many different ways to test for the flu, COVID-19, RSV, and strep throat. Two of the most quick and convenient tests are rapid molecular tests and rapid antigen tests. These tests are usually prescribed by a healthcare provider and can be performed at a clinic near you, including certain doctors’ offices, urgent care centers, and pharmacies, with results in as little as 15 minutes.1,2-7


Rapid molecular tests look for genetic material from the virus or bacteria that causes infection and are highly accurate.7 For example, a rapid molecular test looks for RNA from viruses like the flu, RSV or COVID-19, and DNA from bacteria like strep throat.8,9

Active Infection

Rapid antigen tests detect active infection by identifying a protein from the virus or bacteria that causes that infection. These tests can be less sensitive when compared to a molecular test, however they are good predictors of an active infection. For some illnesses (for example COVID-19), these tests may be available without a prescription (over-the-counter) and used for routine or repeat testing.10,11

Find the best test for you

Depending on your symptoms, you may choose to conduct a self test or your clinician may order a rapid  test to be conducted during your visit.  Having your test results can help your clinician to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

family using swab test


Testing yourself or a family member
  • Available over the counter (OTC) for personal use at home (COVID-19 only)
  • Easy to use with reliable results in 15 minutes or less
  • Good predictor of active infection - Negative results require serial or repeat testing
  • Does not provide a validated results for travel
technician running lab test


Molecular results, in minutes
  • Highly accurate, whether positive or negative
  • Ordered and conducted by trained healthcare professionals
  • Fast results during your visit to inform your treatment
  • No follow-up visit or waiting to start treatment

Rapid Testing Basics

Terms to know and Types of tests

Testing has now become part of our daily conversation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many different types of respiratory diagnostic tests, and it can be hard to keep track of what each test does and when and where it's used.

Viral RNA

When a virus enters your body, it starts multiplying, and you may or may not have symptoms.


As the virus multiplies, the body begins to react to the viral antigens, possibly resulting in symptoms.


As your body starts to fight off infection, your immune system produces IgM and IgG antibodies.

Rapid Molecular test (Isothermal)

Rapid molecular tests detect viral RNA or DNA. They are performed via a nasal or throat swab and provide results in less than 15 minutes. These tests are used at the point of care in doctors offices, urgent care, emergency departments, and pharmacies.

Molecular PCR test

Molecular PCR tests are performed via a nasal, nasopharyngeal or throat swab which is usually sent to a lab or hospital to run on a larger instrument together with higher volumes of patient samples. Results are typically available in 1-3 days

Rapid Antigen Test

Rapid antigen tests are also performed via nasal or throat swab with results in less than 15 minutes. These tests can either be used at doctors' offices, urgent care, emergency rooms, pharmacy clinics, or bought at retailers for self-testing

read more about rapid molecular testing

Sign up for Rapid Insights, our email series on rapid molecular testing.

This program will teach you about rapid tests and how they can quickly identify illnesses like the flu, COVID-19, RSV, and strep throat. Rapid testing can help you get treated earlier and get well sooner.



Learn about respiratory illnesses and the newer advanced test technology that offers fast and accurate results. Knowing now means you’ll be treated earlier which can help you get well sooner.

1. Azar, Marwan M., Marie L. Landry. “Detection of Influenza A and B Viruses and Respiratory Syncytial Virus by Use of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA)-Waived Point-of-Care Assays: A Paradigm Shift to Molecular Tests.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology 56, no. 7 (July 2018): e00367-18.  

2. Merckx, Joanna, et al. “Diagnostic Accuracy of Novel and Traditional Rapid Tests for Influenza Infection Compared With Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Annals of Internal Medicine 167, no. 6 (September 19, 2017): 394-409.

3. Franck, Kristina T., et al. “Evaluation of Immuview RSV Antigen Test (SSI Siagnostica) and BinaxNOW RSV Card (Alere) for Rapid Detection of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Retrospectively and Prospectively Collected Respiratory Samples.” Journal of Medical Virology 92, no. 12 (December 2020): 2992-2998.

4. Cohen, Jérémie F., et al. “Rapid Antigen Detection Test for Group A Streptococcus in Children With Pharyngitis (Review).” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 7, article no. CD010502, (2016).

5. “ID Now Influenza A & B 2 Quick Reference Instructions.” Abbott, 2020.

6. “ID Now RSV Quick Reference Instructions.” Abbott, 2020.

7. “ID Now Strep A 2 Quick Reference Instructions.” Abbott, 2020.

8. Hagen, Ashley. “COVID-19 Testing FAQs.” American Society for Microbiology. August 19, 2021.

9. “Alere i Strep A 2 Package Insert.” Alere, 2018.

10. Shuren, Jeffrey E. “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Steps to Streamline Path for COVID-19 Screening Tools, Provides Information to Help Groups Establishing Testing Programs.” Food and Drug Administration. March 16, 2021.

11. Pfeil, Johannes, et al. “Screening for Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Isolation Strategies in Children Hospitalized with Acute Respiratory Tract Infection.” Medicine 93, no. 25 (November 2014):e144.