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What is this project

The Analytical Performance workstream of CONDOR helps us to evaluate which tests we should try out in the different clinical settings. 

This is important, as at the moment lots of tests are being developed to detect SARS-CoV-2, but not all of them will be as good as each other, and we want to make sure we only put the better ones into our clinical studies

The rapid development of tests during the pandemic means that many of them have not had the normal checks/studies to make sure that they are fit for purpose. Not all tests are equal, and we need to make sure that our resources are used wisely - on the better tests.

Manufacturers will make claims about their tests, including how accurate they are; currently these claims may be based on small numbers of samples, leaving room for error in the claims. In addition, we will check that the tests are safe and relatively easy for people to use.

The Analytical Performance workstream, will check that we have enough information about the tests, with enough data to back up the manufacturer claims. Where there are gaps in this knowledge, we will run our own experiments to find out how well the test works. This may happen using leftover diagnostic samples, that have been stored, or we may need to collect new samples to do this. We will use information from the manufacture to make a brief assessment of safety/usability.

By doing these checks, we will make sure that we do not waste resources putting a test that isn’t very good into our clinical studies. That way we will help people to decide on the best test for each clinical setting. By checking what data is already available, we will make sure that we do not repeat work unnecessarily, thereby ensuring that we only use samples/collect extra samples where they are really needed. By looking at how easy and safe the test is to use, we can also help users to decide if this test is suitable for their clinical setting.

Our data will ultimately help the government, NHS and private providers around the country to decide which tests to buy and use.