A new web platform has been set up to support the drive to achieve 100,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of April – the platform can be accessed at https://testingmethods.crowdicity.com/
In addition to scaling up existing technologies and channels, the government is looking for innovative solutions in specific areas. Solutions, ideas and comments can be uploaded to the platform, focusing on four key challenges:
- Dry swabs for use in virus detection – availability of swabs is essential to speed up testing;
- Transport media that inactivates the virus – increasing laboratory throughput and minimising processes including the need to handle test samples;
- Desktop PCR equipment for Point of Care Testing – using machines that enable fast, accurate and safe results for the operator;
- RNA extraction – new ‘ready to go’ methods of extracting viral RNA or enabling viral detection without an extraction step that can be integrated into PCR testing chains.
The web platform has been established by the Department of Health and Social Care in partnership with the UK Bioindustry Association, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association and the Royal College of Pathologists.
We understand that every idea will be evaluated and that all submissions will receive a response.
Registration is quick via an email address or by signing in with Twitter, Facebook, Google or LinkedIn. Whilst the system is ‘open platform’ to encourage sharing, contributions can be made confidentially through a private submission tab.
Please share this opportunity with others who may be able to contribute solutions to the four challenges – the Twitter hashtag is #TestingMethods2020
Note that the platform will pause on the evening of Tuesday 14th April for an initial review of the solutions put forward.