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MAKO Medical, a College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratory and leader in COVID-19 Testing, has recently announced the release of a new saliva COVID-19 test. The TaqCheckSars-CoV-2 Fast PCR Assay requires a saliva sample and reduces the time, materials, and labor required to conduct alternative PCR tests.

Josh Arant, COO of MAKO Medical, hopes that this non-invasive PCR test will help pave the way for more accessible and frequent testing across the United States. “MAKO Medical’s priority is the safety and security of our communities, and that starts with providing rapid, reliable test results,” he says. Arant explains that this new test will not only provide a better patient experience but also an opportunity to streamline MAKO Medical’s lab work and expand its capacity to meet the need for rapid COVID-19 testing. 

Improving COVID-19 test accessibility is undoubtedly essential in tackling the virus at a time when the country still averages more than 50,000 cases per day. Because saliva tests are easier to administer and less invasive than nasal exams, they could help increase the number of COVID-19 tests throughout the country and curb the spread of the virus.

MAKO Medical hopes to continue to act as a key player in administering these nasal and saliva COVID-19 tests. Considered a national leader in COVID-19 testing, MAKO Medical has processed more than five million COVID-19 tests across more than 30 states for medical providers, governments, and employers since the beginning of the pandemic. It was also selected as the official COVID-19 test provider for both the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big South Conference, ensuring that universities can safely and responsibly compete against each other. MAKO Medical has worked hard to ensure that these tests are both reliable. In August of 2020, it announced that it had scored 100 percent on CAP Covid Proficiency Testing, proving that its testing is both fast and accurate. 

MAKO Medical’s commitment to fighting COVID-19 extends beyond testing. The organization is also utilizing a new next-generation sequencing (NGS) research panel as part of its efforts to identify new mutations and variants. Using this research-only platform, its laboratories can map more than 99 percent of the SARS-Cov-2 genome and detect specific variants. This NGS research has proven incredibly effective. Utilizing this new technology, MAKO has recently released information regarding the latest identification of 88 new COVID-19 variants across 9 states. This brings the total number of variants that it has identified to 163. These tests are provided in partnership with state health officials in an effort to understand and track various COVID-19 mutations. 

To help mitigate the risk that these new mutations pose, MAKO Medical has ensured that its tests can detect the most prevalent B.1.1.7 variant, along with other variants as they arise. It has also begun to offer a new COVFlu-19 test in addition to the COVID-19 PCR test. This test detects SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19), influenza A, and influenza B from a single swab and will help monitor the spread of COVID-19 and the flu. These two respiratory viruses have very similar clinical symptoms, which is why it is important to identify which virus the patient has and take the necessary actions.

In an effort to keep up with the demands that COVID-19 has created, MAKO Medical has expanded its facilities and employee count. It currently operates more than 70,000 square feet of laboratory space across two North Carolina facilities, one in Henderson and one in Raleigh. MAKO Medical expanded its Henderson facility in 2020 in response to COVID and is now able to process 100,000 tests per day, up from 50,000. It has also grown its employee count from 350 to more than 1,000 in the past year and is looking forward to recruiting new employees. Armed with its innovative practices, top talent recruitment, and community-focused mindset, MAKO Medical is prepared to continue the fight against COVID-19.  

Chad Price 

Chad Price is the founder and CEO of MAKO Medical. He is passionate about helping others and using innovation and technology to drive meaningful change. In addition to his role at Mako Medical, he founded and maintains roles at BrideGenie and MakoRX. Prior to Mako Medical, he served as the chief marketing officer at Cary Reconstruction and the founder of Element Service Group Mechanical LLC in 2012. 

MAKO Medical 

MAKO Medical is a College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratory and leader in COVID-19 testing. The organization also provides modern imaging, laboratory, diagnostic, and pharmaceutical services to healthcare organizations across the country. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Mako is a pillar of accessible health care and community outreach and is committed to providing quality and affordable health care to its patients.

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