NIH to expand COVID-19 testing in underserved communities

Oct. 1, 2020

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded nearly $234 million to improve COVID-19 testing for underserved and vulnerable populations as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program, according to a press release.

The program aims to understand COVID-19 testing patterns better among underserved and vulnerable populations; strengthen the data on disparities in infection rates, disease progression and outcomes; and develop strategies to reduce these disparities in COVID-19 testing.

To accomplish these goals in rapid fashion, the RADx-UP program is supporting projects with established community partnerships that can use their existing research infrastructures to swiftly implement strategies and interventions to increase access and uptake of COVID-19 testing among underserved and vulnerable populations.

The RADx will support 32 institutions across the United States and will focus on populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These groups include African Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Latinos/Latinas, Native Hawaiians, older adults, pregnant women and those who are homeless or incarcerated.

A coordination and data collection center at Duke University will provide support and guidance on administrative operations and logistics, facilitating effective use of COVID-19 testing technologies, supporting community and health system engagement and providing overall infrastructure for data collection, integration and sharing.

The RADx initiative was launched in April to speed innovation in the development, commercialization and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing.

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