Why is it important to assess new COVID-19 tests?
We wrote a recent opinion article with members of the CONDOR team to answer this question and share the progress we have made so far as part of this partnership.
The COVID-19 National Diagnostic Research and Evaluation platform (CONDOR) was established in June 2020 by a national group with expertise in the evaluation of diagnostic tests. The partnership includes the NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Newcastle MIC) and is examining the performance of newly developed COVID-19 tests.
Recently Dr Joy Allen, senior methodologist from the NIHR Newcastle MIC, wrote an article with Prof. Rick Body (Manchester Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator), Prof. Gail Hayward (NIHR Community Healthcare MIC) and Dr Charles Reynard (Manchester University) to highlight the work of CONDOR.
The authors explain why it is important to assess new COVID-19 tests in different real-world settings to ensure that the most suitable test is used in the most appropriate situation. They also discuss characteristics of the tests which need to be scrutinised including how many false results are generated.
So far CONDOR has set up evaluation studies in over 100 sites across the UK and has evaluated tests from over 20 different companies. CONDOR has examined the possibility of conducting testing within care homes and informed NHS staff testing and mass testing. Having this infrastructure in place will also help with planning and responding to any future pandemics.
The full article can be read in The Conversation by following this link.