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JMIR Form Res ; 6(1): e32564, 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528774


BACKGROUND: Large-scale, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based SARS-CoV-2 testing is expensive, resource intensive, and time consuming. A self-collection approach is a probable alternative; however, its feasibility, cost, and ability to prevent infections need to be evaluated. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to compare an innovative self-collection approach with a regular SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy in a large European industrial manufacturing site. METHODS: The feasibility of a telemedicine-guided PCR-based self-collection approach was assessed for 150 employees (intervention group) and compared with a regular SARS-CoV-2 testing approach used for 143 employees (control group). Acceptance, ergonomics, and efficacy were evaluated using a software application. A simulation model was implemented to evaluate the effectiveness. An interactive R shiny app was created to enable customized simulations. RESULTS: The test results were successfully communicated to and interpreted without uncertainty by 76% (114/150) and 76.9% (110/143) of the participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively (P=.96). The ratings for acceptability, ergonomics, and efficacy among intervention group participants were noninferior when compared to those among control group participants (acceptability: 71.6% vs 37.6%; ergonomics: 88.1% vs 74.5%; efficacy: 86.4% vs 77.5%). The self-collection approach was found to be less time consuming (23 min vs 38 min; P<.001). The simulation model indicated that both testing approaches reduce the risk of infection, and the self-collection approach tends to be slightly less effective owing to its lower sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: The self-collection approach for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis was found to be technically feasible and well rated in terms of acceptance, ergonomics, and efficacy. The simulation model facilitates the evaluation of test effectiveness; nonetheless, considering context specificity, appropriate adaptation by companies is required.