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| 2 minutes read

#TestingMethods2020 for #COVID19 response

As part of the government response to COVID19 there is a need to find new and novel solutions to help deliver 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April.

Crowdsourcing for Solutions

Setting up a crowdsourcing approach usually takes four to six weeks. In less than 48 hours partners from Department of Health and Social Care, NHS, BioIndustry Association, Bio In Vitro Diagnostic Association, Royal College of Pathologists, Medallia Crowdicity and Horizons:

  • Established a reference group of senior experts from key partner organisations
  • Facilitated the reference group to shape the core aims of the work, including the wording for each challenge
  • Co-designed and developed a crowdsourcing platform 
  • Set up daily check-in calls at 9am throughout the Easter break
  • Co-designed and shared promotional materials, including flyers and a Twitter hashtag (#TestingMethods2020)

The Call to Action

To run a successful crowdsourcing approach there needs to be a very clear call to action: Have you got solutions or offers that could help?

How we are doing:

So What:

The moderators are reviewing all posts, every day and giving every idea a status letter (A to E) against the following key criteria: Will it fly? Will it contribute to the goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April? How is it operationalised?

Every idea that is posted on the platform will receive a status letter and a follow-up reply

A:  This idea does not contribute directly to the challenge and will not be progressed as part of the challenge

B:   This idea is interesting but will not contribute to the immediate goal to be achieved at the end   of the month and will be followed up at a later date

C:  This idea has the potential to contribute to the goal but more information is needed and the moderators will contact you to find out more

D:   This idea is ready to go. We will contact you regarding how we can work with you to make it happen at scale

E:   This idea is interesting but outside the scope of this challenge; we will help you to make appropriate connections with another group

What Next:

We will continue to engage with those already on the platform, encouraging further development of solutions and partnerships to build total solutions

Further challenges are being considered. Today we have launched a 5th challenge to find examples where small volume blood collection, coupled with elution where relevant, can be used for COVID-19 antibody testing for immediate or very rapid roll out (see the flyer below).

Get involved:

  • Tweet this flyer with our new 5th challenge using #TestingMethods2020
  • If you know anyone who may have specialist knowledge of these 4 challenge areas then please encourage them to join in the conversations on the platform
‘The coronavirus has created complex challenges for the NHS to face, but our staff have been doing fantastic work in fighting the pandemic already. Through collaborative initiatives like this, we can bring together the brightest and the best to help us introduce innovative solutions to ramp up our testing capacity and achieve the ambitious target that has been set of 100,000 tests a day for the benefit of patients, NHS and social care staff and those working in other sectors.' Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement


testingmethods2020, covid-19, coronavirus