Cue Health’s new test line joins the growing home collection market

Cue Health (HLTH) made a name for itself with a rapid home COVID-19 test, machine priced at $200, and came out with 13 new tests this week, though none were compatible with the new machine. . These home kits are processed in a lab, with results quickly available on the company’s app.

Cue’s chief medical officer, David Tsay, told Yahoo Finance that the company was working on more tests for its home machine, but the new tests were in response to market demand.

“We’re expanding the menu of products that work with the Cue health monitoring system,” Tsay said.

This includes a flu test, a combined flu/COVID test as well as an Mpox test. Clinical trials are also underway for RSV, chlamydia and gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as streptococcus.

Tsay said the new tests will help expand the product line as a whole. Many of the tests chosen already have some competition in the market, but were in areas the company deemed important, such as heart health, men’s and women’s health, metabolic health and wellness.

Cue Health Home Test

Tests can be ordered on the app or website and include everything the lab needs to address.

But these are also out-of-pocket expenses, as conversations with health insurers and government payers are still ongoing. Tests start at around $69 for a colon cancer screening and go up to $224 for a women’s health panel. There is also a Cue+ membership price which reduces the price by a few dollars, although the membership itself is $20 per month.

The turnaround times for test results are a bit like the COVID-19 PCR tests that were in high demand at the height of the pandemic. On a normal schedule, the turnaround time can be one to two days, Tsay said.

Lab swab kits aren’t new, but they’ve garnered increased interest during the pandemic. Where there were only a handful of players before, there are now many, including some of the biggest testing companies in the country.

“I think what we saw in the pandemic was really an acceleration of overall societal trends that were already toward more convenient and accessible healthcare,” Tsay said.

The story continues

Labcorp (LH) CEO Adam Schechter told Yahoo Finance late last year that the lab testing giant had noted the trend and home collection kits were adding convenience through the network. of the company’s physical sites.

“We’re seeing more and more people choosing to do door-to-door collections,” Schechter said.

Labcorp launched its at-home kits last year, with a wider range of tests that cost between $29 and $219.

But Schechter added that the move doesn’t neglect doctors as part of the equation.

Tsay, himself a medically trained physician, noted the same.

“I think it’s wonderful that consumers now have more choices to help them access healthcare from the comfort of their homes,” Tsay said.

He said doctors will ultimately benefit from lab results because they can speed up diagnostic and treatment work.

“I hear from my fellow physicians that even now much of their healthcare is still done remotely, despite the lifting of pandemic restrictions,” Tsay said.

“Consumers have really become accustomed to more immediate access to healthcare and continue to want the convenience of being able to access healthcare,” he added.

The COVID-19 test remains the company’s most successful product. Even as demand for the tests dwindles, the company has entered into a relationship with the Minnesota Department of Health to provide free Cue tests to the public.

And while the new tests don’t capitalize on test readers, which cost more than other rapid at-home COVID-19 tests on the market, they give the brand the potential for more than just a testing business after its IPO. amid the pandemic, Tsay said.

Cue launched in 2021 at $16 per share, but it has fallen and has been trading in the single-digit range since May last year. It’s fared better than other test companies that rode the pandemic wave – some other starter test makers have since filed for bankruptcy.

In the third quarter, Cue recorded revenue of $69.6 million, the majority of which came from private sector customers, for its COVID-19 test.

Follow Anjalee on Twitter @AnjKhem

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