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Test Evaluation

Numerous tests for SARS-CoV-2 have entered the market, leading IEEE Spectrum to wonder whether anyone was examining the accuracy and reliability of those tests. It reports that it found one organization that was: the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, or FIND.

The group is working its way through a list of 300 tests, IEEE Spectrum says, reporting that it has so far evaluated five PCR-based tests. All of them, it adds, garnered high marks for clinical sensitivity on positive samples and had least 96 percent specificity on negative samples. "There's a rapid influx of diagnostics without clear knowledge of whether or not they work," FIND's Cassandra Kelly-Cirino tells it. "The purpose [of our project] is to inform global decision making about which tests to use." 

Kelly-Cirino further tells IEEE Spectrum that some of the tests they've examined thus far appear to be more sensitive than their reference test. She also tells it that the group plans to post performance data on two or three more tests each week and that it is evaluating tests on a first-come, first-served basis.

According to IEEE Spectrum, FIND also plans to evaluate antibody-based tests.