Acceleration of COVID-19 Diagnostics

Diagnostic tests for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus must be widely available, and the barriers to testing must be low, if the world is to have an informed response to COVID-19. Being able to test in the midst of the current outbreak allows for targeted and proportionate preparation and response; testing will also be critical for monitoring of hotspots and future outbreaks.

Developing adequate testing capacity for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus will require taking advantage of the latest advances in scientific and technological innovation, and is contingent on cooperation between industry, governments and international organizations.

This project is focused on two concrete initiatives:

Safe Return to Work in the COVID Era. The Forum will bring together stakeholders from industry, government, civil society, academia and professional associations to share and refine best practices for returning to work in the COVID era. We are especially interested in different models of testing and the downstream impact of various testing approaches. Data capture, access or sharing from different testing and monitoring approaches will also be of critical importance.

Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator Diagnostics Partnership. The Forum in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is facilitating industry engagement in a global effort to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID- 19 essential health technologies. The ACT Accelerator Dx Partnership will work to ensure the right diagnostic test is available to all who need it by spurring innovation in new diagnostic tests and digital solutions, creating effective and efficient markets, ensuring supply and expanding capacity to deliver tests to communities.

Other areas under scoping are:

  • Dialog series highlighting scientific and technological innovation such as gene editing and synthetic biology in COVID-19 diagnostics

  • Strategies for longer term monitoring or surveillance and addressing of SARS-CoV-2 hot spots such as global genomic surveillance networks

  • Creating standard operating procedures to enhance data workflows from Point of Care diagnostic tests in the field