MDI Biological Laboratory launches program to study effectiveness of COVID-19 home test kits

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor is is launching a citizen science program aimed at understanding the effectiveness of COVID-19 home test kits.

The CDC only tracks COVID results based on laboratory and on-site tests.

The MDI Biolab’s at-home COVID Test Kit surveys are essentially a way of crowdsourcing data and ask an array of practical questions they hope will help connect the dots in tracing the virus.

“Which test kit are you using? Whether you were masking before the onset of symptoms. We’re just trying to understand what’s the relationship between all of these things. We’re going to need a lot of data to be able to start to see any correlations, or any trends,” said Jane Disney, MDI Biological Laboratory associate professor.

The online anecdata surveys are taken completely anonymously, but the results are publicly available so that people can have a more informed idea of what’s happening with COVID and its spread in their communities.

“Researchers can take the data and analyze it. Community groups, a school administrator could see that something in their town was going on, things are heating up. So, a lot of people are taking home tests and they’re testing positive. You can kind of see it coming around your school or around your community. You won’t see someone’s address, you won’t know that it’s on this particular street, but you’ll know that here in Southwest Harbor or here, Bar Harbor, there’s an uptick maybe in these positive test results,” said Disney.

For more information or to take the COVID-19 home testing survey, visit

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