The global spread of SARS-CoV-2 has shaken our health care and economic systems, prompting re-evaluation of long-held views on how best to deliver care. This is especially the case for our global diagnostic strategy. While current laboratory-based centralized RT-qPCR will continue to serve as a gold standard diagnostic into the foreseeable future, the shortcomings of our dependence on this method have been laid bare. It is now clear that a robust diagnostics pandemic response strategy, like any disaster planning, must include adaptive, diverse and de-centralized solutions. Here we look at how the COVID-19 pandemic, and previous outbreaks, have set the stage for a new innovative phase in diagnostics and a re-thinking of pandemic preparedness.
Keywords: COVID-19; De-centralized diagnostics; Pandemic response.