HIQA was requested to undertake a rapid health technology assessment (HTA) of alternative diagnostic testing methods for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This work was done to inform the work of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in their response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection is critical to tracking the viral spread, understanding epidemiology, informing case management, and reducing transmission.
At the request of NPHET, HIQA investigated the potential usefulness of alternative diagnostic tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, whether any of the tests that are commercially available are being used internationally, and identified when the tests could be deployed in the clinical pathway.
Please note a subsequent rapid HTA on the topic of testing was published in October 2020. This report may be found here.