What The U.S. Is Doing About Its Testing Swab Shortage

By: Sacha Pfeiffer and Meg Anderson
May 25, 2020
(3:18) Saliva Testing for COVID-19 - NPR Getting Back to Normal

(3:18) Saliva Testing for COVID-19 – NPR

Widespread testing for the coronavirus is key to safely reopening the country, but the U.S. has struggled for months to get to the level of testing many experts say we need — even as states and cities begin to loosen restrictions.

Part of the problem is that a test for the coronavirus is not a single device. Testing entails several different steps and requires supplies and pieces of equipment sourced from different places. These supplies have to make it from factories to testing sites where patients’ samples can be collected and to the lab where tests are processed. Along the way, there can be shortages of various components, each one potentially creating a bottleneck. The most common kind of test to check for an active coronavirus infection takes a sample from the back of your nose or throat. There are dozens of varieties of that test, but they all require one key element: the swab. Not a painless solution as you can visually see and hear the “ooh, that doesn’t feel very good” come from the testing patients. Back to normal could mean repeated testing for many and painful swabbing a daily ritual. The only painless option is saliva and is currently FDA authorized using Spectrum’s SDNA Saliva Collection Device. 

In this video, we zero in on the swab, detailing what the federal government and private industry did and didn’t do, the new saliva testing option using the Spectrum Solutions saliva collection device (spot 3:18 in the video), and we break down why testing is so complicated in the first place.

NPR Video- Swab and Saliva Testing for COVID-19 Update Getting back to normal

in the News

in the News

About the Product

Innovative Engineering


Spectrum Solutions has manufactured over 10 million Saliva Collection devices for distribution worldwide. The SDNA-1000 Saliva Collection Device is Spectrum’s latest device, which will help to lead the saliva collection market in molecular and other diagnostic applications. This fit-for-purpose and technically superior whole saliva collection device has been engineered to reduce self-collection error, is bacteriostatic, and delivers the consistent high-quality, high-yield samples for any medical diagnostic or clinical research required application. The patented preservation solution stabilizes viral samples within the saliva matrix effectively reducing additional exposure-risks to health professionals. As a result, ensuring sample stability at a variety of temperatures that enable the primary sample to be shipped as well as easily stored in case repeat testing is required.

Now available and currently being used as a biosample collection option for viral DNA/RNA COVID-19 testing for hospital networks, health departments, and clinical research organizations ready to accept tens of thousands of samples per day for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus testing and analysis. Spectrum does its product manufacturing of the SDNA-1000 saliva collection device in-house at their facility in Salt Lake City with the capacity, and proven scalability to meet the rapid growing need for COVID-19 testing devices.

Questions? Let’s Connect