NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Dr. Kevin Jones knows his company is entering the antibody test market that is ripe with controversy and high expectations.
“There are a lot of tests out there on the market, and they’re not good enough to do the job,” said Jones, chief technology officer for Web Diagnostic Technology.
It’s the kind of criticism that’s gaining traction.
“Antibody tests are not going to help keep us safe. Antibody tests are not going to help us with our continued reopening,” said Dr. Michael Caldwell, director of the metro health department.
Caldwell points out while the antibody tests show that a person has successfully fought off a coronavirus, there are many different types of coronaviruses.
Caldwell said if the test isn’t detailed enough to specifically detect COVID-19, then it could provide a false positive or negative.
Still, the FDA has now approved more than a dozen COVID-19 antibody tests.
And while Dr. James Hildreth, CEO of Meharry Medical College and member of the coronavirus task force, has expressed concern about the accuracy of the tests flooding the marketplace, he told News4 Investigates it’s time for the city to use the FDA approved tests.
“I am totally supportive of the idea that antibody testing should begin, and the fact that the sooner it begins the better,” Hildreth said.
Jones’ company is waiting for their FDA approval.
“Can you guarantee that your test will be precise enough to tell if a person was infected by COVID-19?” asked News4 Investigates
“That’s a great question,” Jones said.
Jones went on to say that they have tested roughly 300 cases, and their results have proven to be 98 percent accurate in identifying COVID-19.
Jones knows if they get it right, the tests could answer questions for Nashville and cities across the nation.
“When are people safe to go back to work? Who’s got infections? Who needs to go into the hospital?” Jones said.
It’s important to note that even if an antibody tests shows a person successfully fought off COVID-19, it does not mean that the person is immune to the virus.