Analysing the accuracy of a near bedside test for COVID-19
We have been working with our CONDOR partners to examine the performance of the FebriDx test for COVID-19 in hospital emergency departments.
Over the last few months many tests have been developed that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. These tests are crucial for helping to control the spread of the disease and to guide appropriate treatment. However, they tend to use complex machines in laboratories. These machines require specialist training and process large numbers of samples at once so sometimes it takes days for test results to come back. To reduce the waiting time for results, new point-of-care (POC) tests are being developed. They are portable and work in close proximity to where patients require care such as hospital emergency departments, GP surgeries and care homes. For these new POC tests to be helpful, they should ideally be as reliable as standard laboratory tests so patients can benefit from the best, safest care while getting their result quickly.
We are part of a national partnership who were recently awarded £1.3M from the NIHR, UK Research and Innovation, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation to form CONDOR (the COVID-19 National Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Platform). Through the platform we are robustly evaluating new COVID-19 tests in hospitals and the community.
Working with our CONDOR collaborators we have examined published research and assessed the performance of a new POC test, FebriDx, and its use in emergency departments within hospitals. The test can detect the presence of bacteria and viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in finger prick blood samples.
From our analysis, the FebriDx POC test had reasonable diagnostic accuracy compared to standard laboratory tests during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was particularly good at identifying patients that did not have COVID-19. Therefore the FebriDx POC test could be used when needing to promptly isolate a patient with COVID-19-like symptoms who arrives at a busy hospital emergency department.
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