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COVID-19 Impact on Diagnostic Innovations: Emerging Trends and Implications

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Anne Oyewole, Lucy Barrass, Emily Robertson, James Woltmann, Hannah O'Keefe, Harsimran Sarpal, Kim Dangova, Catherine Richmond, Professor Dawn CraigORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Diagnostic testing remains the backbone of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, supporting containment efforts to mitigate the outbreak. The severity of this crisis and increasing capacity issues associated with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based testing, accelerated the development of diagnostic solutions to meet demands for mass testing. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Innovation Observatory is the national horizon scanning organization in England. Since March, the Innovation Observatory has applied advanced horizon scanning methodologies and tools to compile a diagnostic landscape, based upon data captured for molecular (MDx) and immunological (IDx) based diagnostics (commercialized/in development), for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. In total we identified and tracked 1608 diagnostics, produced by 1045 developers across 54 countries. Our dataset shows the speed and scale in which diagnostics were produced and provides insights into key periods of development and shifts in trends between MDx and IDx solutions as the pandemic progressed. Stakeholders worldwide required timely and detailed intelligence to respond to major challenges, including testing capacity and regulatory issues. Our intelligence assisted UK stakeholders with assessing priorities and mitigation options throughout the pandemic. Here we present the global evolution of diagnostic innovations devised to meet changing needs, their regulation and trends across geographical regions, providing invaluable insights into the complexity of the COVID-19 phenomena.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Oyewole AO, Barrass L, Robertson EG, Woltmann J, O'Keefe H, Sarpal H, Dangova K, Richmond C, Craig D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diagnostics

Year: 2021

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 27/01/2021

Acceptance date: 25/01/2021

Date deposited: 10/02/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2075-4418

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics11020182


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