Amazon Partners Researchers To Deliver Coronavirus Testing At Home
Amazon is teaming up with researchers to assist the city of Seattle in picking up and delivering tests for coronavirus.
The research initiative, Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) is providing the testing kits. The research effort is based on the former Seattle Flu Study initiative that is now working to understanding and curtailing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
SCAN receives funding from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ private Gates Ventures. Gates Ventures is an investment arm that receives its technical assistance from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Amazon Care is helping out with the logistics by delivering the test kit to people who are sick or asymptomatic. It will then pick the swabs for analysis and if tests are positive, a health worker will contact the participant. Amazon Care is the arm of Amazon responsible for providing medical care to its employees.
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CNBC first made the report of Amazon’s involvement. The involvement, however, does not include Amazon’s broader network, according to an Amazon Care spokesperson. The couriers have undergone training in handling medical material. They will be responsible for distributing the self-swab kits to the homes of those who have made requests for them.
“Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis must be a community effort and requires support from both the private and public sectors. We are grateful to be surrounded by a strong community of public health, global health, and academic leaders and are eager to leverage Amazon Care’s infrastructure and logistics capabilities to support this local effort,” Amazon Care director Kristen Helton told CNBC in an emailed statement.
Brotman Baty Institute, University of Washington Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital are research partners with SCAN on the project.
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