Frequently Asked Questions

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Everything you need to know about lateral flow tests


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are sent away to a lab to diagnose disease

Lateral Flow Test

Lateral flow tests — also known as rapid antigen tests — can diagnose Covid-19 on the spot, but aren’t as accurate as PCR tests


Antibody (or serology) tests can’t diagnose active infection but they can help determine if a person has immunity to Covid-19.

A lateral flow test kit works by taking a sample from the nose or back of the throat via a swab. This swab is then tested for the presence of certain antigens. 

Lateral flow is simply the technology used in the test and its function is quite similar to that of a pregnancy test.  

You can buy Covid-19 test kits in the UK (this test should be carried out by a medical professional).

Healgen® Antigen tests are used to detect proteins specific to a virus that appear in infected individuals. If a patient has antigens detected in a sample, it means a viral infection is present. 

In the case of COVID-19, the Healgen® Lateral Flow Test detects coronavirus proteins in a sample obtained from the nose. 

You can buy rapid antigen test kits from us, which are approved by the UK government.

A lateral flow test like a Healgen rapid antigen test can provide a visual result in just 15 minutes. 

This allows quick identification of positive cases so that people can self-isolate sooner and reduce the risk of transmission.

Any positive lateral flow test should be confirmed by a government-approved PCR test, which can be arranged by calling NHS on 111.

No, your Covid self test kit comes with everything you need to carry out your test, including clear instructions showing you how to perform the test and interpret its results. 

Although no specialist knowledge is needed and the UK government has approved lateral flow tests for public use, it’s always recommended that they’re carried out by trained healthcare professionals.

Ideally, the specimen should be tested immediately after collection, though the specimen can be retained for up to 1 hour following collection if immediate testing of specimens is not possible. You should dispose of the specimen and recollect if retained for more than 1 hour.

An unopened Covid self test kit can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated between 2-30 degrees Celsius. Always allow the test kit to reach room temperature before you use it.

The device should never be frozen. If refrigerated, you should allow the test kit components to reach room temperature before use.