Authorized medical devices for uses related to COVID-19: List of authorized testing devices
Health Canada is receiving a very high volume of requests for authorization. We are unable to prioritize requests for status updates at this time. If you learned recently that a device was authorized, please allow at least 48 hours for this list to be updated.
On this page
- Authorization of COVID-19 testing devices
- Medical device incidents
- Understanding the "testing information" column
- List of authorized testing devices
Authorization of COVID-19 testing devices
Health Canada has authorized a variety of COVID-19 tests based on data supporting their intended use.
Each test is authorized for:
- specific age groups (adults or children)
- the way samples should be collected (nasal or saliva)
- who should be collecting them (health professional or individual)
- where the test is done (lab, point-of-care or at home)
Every test includes specific instructions on how to collect a sample. Taking the test in a way that is different from the instructions may affect how well the test performs. This may either:
- cause a test result to be invalid or
- produce a false positive or false negative reading
Health Canada is working with other regulators, manufacturers and public health partners to monitor data related to these types of tests. We will communicate new information as it becomes available.
Authorizations under the Interim Order
We have authorized the following testing devices for sale or import in Canada through Interim Order No. 3 for importing and selling medical devices (enacted February 21, 2022). Some devices were first authorized under Interim Order No. 1 for importing and selling medical devices (March 18, 2020, to March 1, 2021) or Interim Order No. 2 for importing and selling medical devices (March 1, 2021, to February 21, 2022). Any testing device that was first authorized under Interim Order No. 1 or Interim Order No. 2 is deemed as authorized under Interim Order No. 3.
The entries in this list represent each individual device identifier included on each interim order (IO) authorization. In other words, a single IO authorization may be for multiple devices, such as a testing device and control kits, that are meant to be used together to conduct the test.
Within the IO authorization, each device is listed separately. The "IO authorization date" column indicates the first date that the testing device was authorized for sale. Manufacturers may amend their IO authorizations to add additional devices over time. The date that new device identifiers are added is reflected in the "device first issued" column.
Medical device incidents
If you have witnessed or experienced a problem with a medical device, including a COVID-19 test, you should report it. You should report the problem directly to the manufacturer of the test. Look for contact details for the manufacturer on the box and/or the test's instructions for use.
You may also report your concern directly to Health Canada .
Understanding the "testing information" column
For each device, the following table identifies the authorized technology type, intended setting(s), sample type(s), intended population(s), shelf life and sensitivity.
Devices may be authorized for more than one type of setting. For example:
- Lab-based tests are conducted in a lab environment by a trained laboratory technician.
- Point-of-care (POC) testing devices are used by an approved operator (often a health care professional) in a near-patient environment like a medical office or at the bedside.
- Self-testing devices are those that can be purchased and used by the public.
Refer to the point-of-care or self-testing webpage for additional information.
Devices may be authorized for multiple sample types and can include the following:
- nasopharyngeal (NP)
- oropharyngeal (OP)
- bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
- self-collected swabs under the supervision of a health care professional
For specific sample collection methods, look for the instructions for use provided for each specific device.
Devices have been authorized for use by different types of patients. The following table indicates all authorized patient types, along with any differences in the sensitivity values associated with the intended population:
- Symptomatic: people who have the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 by a health care provider
- Asymptomatic: people who do not have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19
- Asymptomatic (serial testing): indicates tests that require 2 or more tests within a given time frame for people who are asymptomatic
- for more information on serial asymptomatic testing, visit COVID-19 rapid antigen testing devices that use serial testing for individuals without symptoms: Notice to industry
The following table indicates the most recently authorized shelf life of a device. Extensions for shelf life may be granted:
- by the manufacturer seeking an extension through an amendment or
- through an expanded use authorization
For more information on tests that may have an expansion-of-use authorization, please visit List of medical devices for expanded use .
Health Canada continues to work closely with our federal, provincial and territorial partners, as well as the manufacturing community, to support additional shelf life extensions on an ongoing basis.
Sensitivity values are presented to provide transparency around clinical performance data that were filed with Health Canada at the time of submission. Sensitivity is a measure of the accuracy of a test against a reference standard. Only the most conservative values pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 are presented where either:
- multiple clinical datasets have been provided to us for evaluation
- the test is designed to identify more than just SARS-CoV-2
- multiple datasets have been provided for different sample types
Tests that identify antibodies (serological tests) do not have their sensitivity value posted in the table. The sensitivity value for these tests depends on many factors. For more information, please consult the instructions for use provided with your test. For serological tests within the testing information column, the target epitope will be identified instead of sensitivity.
Tests that identify antibodies to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, however, will be unable to distinguish between people who have been infected and who have been vaccinated.
Health Canada is working proactively with manufacturers of approved COVID-19 test devices to assess the impact of novel variants of public health concern. Manufacturers who identify a concern about the performance of their test as a result of a novel variant are expected to report these concerns to us. We will assess these concerns and take necessary action to mitigate any risks.
The table also indicates if the following apply to any of the authorized devices:
Visual read versus instrument read
Results of the COVID-19 test can be displayed:
- using an instrument or
- visually on the device itself using coloured bands or other visual indications
The testing information column indicates if the test can be read on an instrument or visually as follows:
- Instrument read: an instrument such as an analyzer, PCR machine or mobile app can be used to read the results
- Visual read: the result can be read directly from the single-use product such as a testing cassette
Some COVID-19 testing devices allow for other respiratory viruses (for example, influenza A and B and RSV) to be detected at the same time. These tests are indicated by the term multiplex.
Some COVID-19 testing devices may be used by a person to collect their own nasal or saliva samples under the supervision of a health care provider. These testing devices only apply to point-of-care and lab-based tests, as self-tests do not require supervision by a health care provider.
Some COVID-19 testing devices make it possible to pool samples together for testing, but this strategy will differ from test to test. For more information, please consult the "instructions for use" on how sample pooling may be used with the relevant testing device.
The Interim Order permits the authorization of new COVID-19 uses for devices already approved in Canada when scientific data supports this. COVID-19 testing devices that have received an expanded use authorization will show the symbol EU. The List of medical devices for expanded use provides additional information on the expansion of use for specific COVID-19 testing devices.
List of authorized testing devices
This list is updated every day by 5 a.m. EST.
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