Medic taking sample for coronavirus testing
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With the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, Arizona State University (ASU) announced the launch of Evidence Commons, the first and only comprehensive repository of published COVID-19 research focused on diagnostic tests and testing practices. The resource, which includes more than 3,000 separate publications related to COVID-19 diagnostics development, is intended to foster collaboration that can aid in the common goal of lessening the impact of COVID-19.

“Testing has been essential throughout the pandemic, yet research on test technologies is hard to find and access, said Andrew Sweet, VP, Global COVID-19 Response and Recovery at The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Rockefeller Foundation’s grant to ASU to establish Evidence Commons will increase the visibility of science-based published research on COVID-19 tests. Broad access to this data will foster increased collaboration within and between the academic and diagnostics industry communities which is critical for innovation and future pandemic preparedness.”

Evidence Commons, developed as part of the ASU COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons educational website, will consolidate all the published data on COVID testing and diagnostic development. Diagnostics have played a critical role in identifying new strains of the coronavirus and in helping to manage the disease, but more than two years after it first appeared, finding vital information on test development and testing protocols has remained challenging.

The Evidence Commons dashboard allows users to search the available research using a number of different criteria including test technology, sample type, test location, and study population. Search results provide links to the relevant studies and the website is updated with new research every week.

“COVID-19 tests have often been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and under-appreciated as a critical tool to fight the spread of this virus,” noted Mara Aspinall, professor of practice in the College of Health Solutions at ASU and co-founder of the Biomedical Diagnostics program within the College. “Evidence Commons creates easy, single-site access to a comprehensive and interactive database of hundreds of testing related publications in an organized way.”

The launch of the new website builds on earlier and continuing efforts by ASU to provide information on COVID-19 testing resources. In July 2020, ASU launched Testing Commons, a comprehensive searchable repository of COVID-19 tests on the market, as well as those under development. Users in Testing Commons can search the database by test type, technology, regulatory status, country of origin, as well as other parameters. Later the same year, in November 2020, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, ASU launched Workplace Commons, a website that collected anonymized surveys from companies aimed at providing data for employers on the attitudes of employees on return-to-work policies. Both earlier projects also received support from The Rockefeller Foundation.

All three resources—Evidence Commons, Workplace Commons, and Testing Commons—can be found on the ASU College of Health Solutions Diagnostics Commons website.

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