NIH Launches Pilot COVID Telehealth Program

(Reuters) – The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Thursday launched a virtual program aimed at making antiviral treatments for COVID-19 available at home for those who test positive.

Local and state officials from Berks County in Pennsylvania will be the first to pilot the program, known as Home Test to Treat, later this month, with up to 8,000 residents expected to participate, the NIH said.

eMed, a privately-owned at-home health services firm, will host the official Home Test to Treat website, where individuals can sign up to receive antiviral treatment delivery as well as to coordinate telehealth-enabled test kits.

The public health agency has also engaged the UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, to collaborate with eMed on analyzing the data collected from the telehealth program such as the impact of a home-based process on testing and treatment.

The program, which was first announced in September by the White House, is aimed at increasing access for people in rural and high-risk communities.

(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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