Aria Diagnostics has been testing hundreds of people since March for the new coronavirus virus that causes COVID-19.
“As we started down this path with Aria Diagnostics, we wanted to find out who has it in an effort to flatten the curve, but we had interest in figuring out the other side of this disease,” Aria co-founder Zak Kahn said. “It was finding out who had it so fewer people got it. With people going back to work, we are actually seeing more COVID-19 positives in the workplaces as well as socially. People are catching it more. We wanted to provide value to the other side of, how do we stop this disease from hurting people and possibly killing people?”
Aria Diagnostics, 5635 W. 96th St. in Indianapolis, announced May 29 it will partner with Versiti Blood Center to identify and provide convalescent plasma donors to aid in the recovery of COVID-19 patients.
Kahn, a Carmel resident, said clinical trials and hospital usage show that patients who receive convalescent plasma are recovering from COVID-19 at positive rates.
“We are turning out our patients over to Versiti, who is providing that plasma to hospitals right now,” Kahn said. “We’re seeing this work in patients.”
Kahn said he is pleased with the number of people donating plasma.
“The Carmel Police Dept. members who tested positive all donated at Versiti (in late May),” he said. “There is genuine altruistic motivation by the community of us all coming together to solve this together. People are generally optimistic about positive outcomes because the pharmaceutical companies have to take time before they deliver a response and solution for a vaccine and other treatment options.”
Dr. Dan A. Waxman, Versiti vice president of transfusion medicine blood services, said potential donors must first be proven to have had a COVID-19 diagnosis through a positive lab test result, which Aria provides, and must be symptom-free for 14 days.
Kahn said Aria’s position is that everyone should be tested.
“We experienced a shortage in March when we first started,” Kahn said. “Since the beginning of April, we’ve had no shortage of kits and tests.”