Frequently Asked Questions
MakeMyTestCount is a part of an effort at the National Institutes of Health to develop standard ways to report at-home tests, and to securely and privately collect the information in a way that fits into existing data systems.
By reporting your test — whether negative or positive — you are part of that effort. When you report your test result, you help improve America’s understanding of how people are using at-home tests. You’re also helping researchers and public health teams figure out how best to use the data those test results give them.
At-home tests are likely to become even more popular in the future. When you report your results, you’re helping build the foundation of a system that is intended to help people across the country live safer, healthier lives. Thank you for doing your part - and for making your test count.
Data collected through MakeMyTestCount is de-identified and sent to HHS Protect, a secure national database that also receives COVID-19 test results from laboratories and doctors’ offices. In addition, the data may be shared with researchers and support teams working on the MakeMyTestCount initiative. Any data that is shared with these groups will be anonymous and not tied to any information that identifies you individually.
Public health teams at the state and local level can also get data from MakeMyTestCount. If you have chosen to share any personal information along with your results, these are the only people who will have access to it.
Your privacy is a priority for MakeMyTestCount. When you report your test, you don't have to share any specific personal information if you don't want to. All you need to report is:
Whether you were negative or positive
The brand of test you took
The date you took the test
Your zip code
However, we also ask for more information, if you're willing to share it:
Whether you had symptoms
Your sex assigned at birth
This demographic information may help public health teams better use the data from home tests. It is non-identifying information, so it can't be linked back to you.
If you wish, you can also share your contact information. The only people who would have access to that info would be your local and / or state public health teams.
Want to be part of the public health effort? Report your test today!
All the information from MakeMyTestCount stays in the United States. It is gathered by CareEvolution, a US health-care technology company that has provided secure health care solutions since 2004.
CareEvolution’s processes and technologies have been verified by third-party assessors (3PAO) who are accredited by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) to make sure that they meet the strict Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) guidelines. In addition, CareEvolution regularly undergoes third-party audits and testing to ensure it continues to meet FISMA's security and privacy requirements.
MakeMyTestCount makes every reasonable effort to keep your information safe and protect the confidentiality of your data; however, total confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. As with any technology solution, there is always a small risk of unauthorized access or disclosure.
Respiratory diseases like COVID, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have similar symptoms. Reporting a negative test may help show that another disease besides COVID is going around your area.
Public health and medical teams use different tools to respond to different situations. For example, if a COVID surge is happening, hospitals and community health centers know they need lots of rapid COVID tests. But they don't need to stock up on that kind of test if the area is facing a lot of flu but not much COVID.
Right now, public health teams are still studying how best to use the data that MakeMyTestCount gathers. The more complete that data is, the more useful it can be - for both COVID surges and for upticks in other respiratory viruses. That's why negative test results are just as important to know about as positive test results are.
You can report any kind of at-home test for COVID-19 or flu at MakeMyTestCount.org.
You do NOT need to report your test result here if:
You are taking a test that is proctored (that means someone watched you take the test).
You've reported your at-home test result to your health care provider.
You've reported your test result in an app that comes with your test.
A health care provider (including a nurse or physician's assistant) tested you.
The most common reason is this:
Most at-home tests are antigen tests, which look for proteins from the virus. They're very good at turning positive if you have a lot of active virus in your nose.
But these days, people tend to get symptoms before their virus levels get high enough for an antigen test to detect. If you test too soon after you've gotten infected, an antigen test will show up negative. That's why the FDA recommends that if you have symptoms and test negative, wait 48 hours and test again .
The tests that health care providers use are often molecular tests (either PCR or LAMP tests). Those can detect a much smaller amount of virus than an antigen test can. That means they can diagnose an infection much earlier.
However, the trick with those tests is that they'll show up positive even when you're no longer contagious. That's why you're not supposed to take a molecular test for 90 days after you've had COVID.
At-home tests for flu aren't on the market in the US yet. At-home tests that can detect both COVID and flu in a single test should be available by the end of the year.
No. Health care providers can report the results of tests their patients tell them about. At-home test proctors can, too. And if you reported your test result in an app that came with your test, the app will do the reporting for you, as well.
This website is just one part of an NIH program called RADx MARS, or Mobile At-home Reporting through Standards. The MARS program created the infrastructure that allows at-home tests to be reported in the United States.
All post-testing recommendations on this website are based on CDC guidelines. Recommendations are updated whenever those guidelines are revised.
CareEvolution, based in the United States, is a health-care technology company that has provided secure health-care solutions for U.S. consumers since 2004.
CareEvolution's platform supports MakeMyTestCount and other National Institutes of Health initiatives such as Say Yes! COVID Test, the Framingham Heart Study, Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL), and the All of Us program. Some of the country's largest health plans, hospital systems, and community health information exchanges rely on CareEvolution's technologies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivered in the United States.
For more information, please visit careevolution.com.
No matter what your results are, you can join the search for answers to COVID-19 and Long COVID by joining the RECOVER studies. You can participate whether you have COVID now, had COVID before, or never had COVID. Visit the RECOVER website for more information.
Can't find the answer you are looking for? We are here to help.
For more information about COVID-19 and how best to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus, visit WhenToTest.org.
For more information about the RADx® Tech initiative, visit the NIBIB website.
For anything else, email email@example.com