(Reuters) – Senior U.S. health official Francis Collins told a Senate hearing on Thursday that the country needs better diagnostic testing technology to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins speaks during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2020. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said existing testing technology still relies on sending samples to labs for results, and new technologies must be developed to deliver tests that rapidly deliver results on site and be widely distributed.

“We believe it is not just a matter of taking what we have and making it higher throughput, we need new technologies that have these more appropriate features,” Collins said.

Collins’ comments echoed those by Deborah Birx,…

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