There have been two separate times in the past six months that my son has had a cold, now commonly referred to as a COVID-19 symptom. We dropped everything to get him tested both times, and both times the process was stressful for various reasons. But whether it’s a child or yourself, finding the test can be challenging—and at the very least it’s inconvenient. To combat such concerns and stress, Q Health has just launched its at-home COVID-19 test, which is available for anyone to purchase.

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Q’s COVID-19 test is the first molecular test to receive FDA emergency use authorization for at-home use without a prescription. it’s different from before Antigen at-home tests, which may be less reliable, While antigen tests look for antibodies in your immune system that are produced in response to the virus that causes COVID-19, molecular tests detect genetic material from the virus. In terms of how well Q’s trial works, the company cites an independent study of 292 symptomatic and asymptomatic. Mayo Clinic Outpatients who say Q’s COVID-19 test matched central lab results with 97.8 percent accuracy. test uses nucleic acid amplification Which is equivalent to PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test.

The cue reader is really the secret sauce to this kind of at-home COVID test. It’s clear why the company is focusing on this specific disease at the moment, but its readership will likely be able to help people try other types of at-home testing in the future as well. I tried the Q Reader and its molecular COVID-19 test to see if it was as stress-free as it appeared.

tl; Dr



  • Easy to follow instructions with video
  • Virtually access to the doctor with Q+ Full Membership


  • High price for each COVID-19 test
  • Subscription pricing is a bit confusing
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buy on Q Health,

Testing for COVID-19 at home

The prospect of doing lab-quality equivalent COVID testing at home is intriguing. What’s even better is that the cue reader is highly connected via mobile device for a deeper level of instructions and help.

If this product is of interest to you, I recommend that you read all of the fine print of Q for yourself. I looked through the description on its website and nothing seemed to contradict its general marketing message. Most often, the long, extended text clarifies things like the product is not being approved or approved by the FDA, simply that it is “authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization.” Or that it is “authorized only for the nucleic acid detection from SARS-CoV-2 and not for any other viruses or pathogens.”

Doing a COVID-19 test from the queue is straightforward. The Q Health app not only walks you through the processes of administering the test, but, because this reader is connected to the device, the hardware and software can work together. For example, the app will show a video on how to open the cartridge and insert it into the reader. The app will keep looping the video until it detects that a cartridge has been inserted, and then it will automatically proceed to the next step.

The liquids do not need to be mixed, and no calibration is required with this test. All the organs are self-proclaimed.

I took my first COVID test when I downloaded the Q Health app and created a free account with it. The whole testing process did not take long. Everything from opening the test, to swabbing each nostril, to inserting it into the reader, to waiting about 20 minutes for the results, was done in less than 30 minutes.

When the results arrived on my phone, I was given the opportunity to print a sheet with all the details, including who it was (to me) and who administered it (me). The results were negative, and even though I didn’t need to prove to anyone that I tested negative, I saved the document on my phone. All results are saved in the app to be returned at a later date.

If you need to prove that you recently tested negative, the company offers a Q+ Full subscription to “CDC-Compliant Supervised Testing for Travel, Work, or School.” There’s more on that below.

My son voluntarily gave a COVID test the next day. To do this I created a profile for him in the app which included his name and date of birth. Since he’s under 18, I also had to verify my consent to the Q Health app through PRIVO, an FTC-approved privacy provider and safe harbor-approved Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) gives. There were several ways to verify myself, and it only took a minute to use the last four digits of my Social Security number.

I moved each of my son’s nostrils in the same direction I did for mine. After inserting the wand into the cartridge, inside the reader, we were informed of a negative result in about 20 minutes, as was the case the day before.

Q+ subscriptions and views

After a few uses, I have been pleasantly surprised by the ease that this tool provides. It’s too simple, and it hasn’t disconnected or acted in a way that it shouldn’t. Of course, I can’t comment on its accuracy, but I don’t have any symptoms and haven’t tested positive. (Even if I was able to find another similar home test to compare, I couldn’t guarantee it would be accurate.)

So, let’s say you’re in the same boat as me and just want the Q’s testing experience at home for the sake of convenience. What is the rate? The shortest answer is that Q+ Essentials costs $49.99 per month for an annual subscription, plus a discounted Q Reader device at $149. This total comes to about $750 for the year. Q+ Complete adds “CDC-compliant supervised testing,” allowing results to be verifiable for activities such as work and travel. That subscription costs $89.99 per month, plus the same discounted reader price of $149 for a total of $1,230 for one year.

The Essentials plan comes with 10 tests, while the Complete plan comes with 20 tests.

Both subscriptions offer 24-hour video chat access to “primary care doctors” – although not your primary care doctor.

I wasn’t able to test the telehealth aspect of the Q Health app. I only had access to the device and tests. Q says it works in partnership with 98point6, an app that promises on-demand primary care, to offer “US-based, board-certified doctors on your mobile smart device.”

These primary care doctors are able to discuss test results and renew prescriptions, in addition to ordering lab tests and assessing symptoms virtually. Of course, those prescriptions or lab tests are not free and will be the responsibility of the patient.

If you’re not interested in video access to the doctor or need certified test results, you can purchase the cue reader and test separately, as a one-time purchase. The cue reader and three tests are $474. Three additional tests are $225, each equal to $75.

future of cue reader

The cue reader is the main part of this home test. However, COVID-19 testing is not the only interest of Q.

“We have a number of products in the near term for flu, RSV [respiratory syncytial virus], Chlamydia/Gonorrhea, Fertility and Pregnancy,” Q Health co-founder and chief product officer Clint Saver wrote over email. “And we’ve been developing the technology for a decade, even with COVID-19. Even before that our vision was to create a flexible platform so that people can access different types of tests and connect people with doctors.”

The technical aspect of this product is noteworthy. If the company can absolutely deliver what it is promising that would also be pretty amazing. No one wants the inconvenience and potential embarrassment of having to go somewhere to get these types of tests done. It is an encouraging move that Q is giving its home COVID test. This makes me really optimistic that it might offer other testing in the future.

That said, I personally wouldn’t buy the Q Reader, or any product, with the hope of seeing what it might do in the future. I think it’s important to evaluate the value of a product based only on what it can do when you buy it. It’s also hard to think of advances in consumer health care without being reminded of Theranos, the startup that falsely and exaggerated its blood analyzer claims.

Should you buy the cue reader and its COVID-19 test?

Depending on your location, in late 2021, it may look like the COVID pandemic is in very different stages. In this case, the cost of even getting a PCR-like COVID test at home in less than 30 minutes will vary wildly for many people.

Despite the personal importance, it has been remarkably solid for me to use the cue reader and its COVID tests. I’m glad this product exists, and it makes me optimistic about the future of at-home medical tests.

buy on Q Health from $49.99 per month,

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