The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has developed an online platform to identify COVID-19 and non-COVID testing supply shortages.
In partnership with the Associaton for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), ASM developed the platform to identify and monitor the testing supplies to be made aware of shortages in real-time, according to a news release.
The tool has already revealed shortages of crucial supplies, such as commercial COVID-19 test kits and routine laboratory diagnostics for illnesses like strep throat, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections.
Currently, 117 Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified labs used the tool and reported an average of 41% testing capacity for COVID-19. Additionally, 73% had shortages of commercial testing kits for the virus, while 65% had shortages of non-COVID-19 testing supplies.
“By collecting and making this data publicly available, we intend to help make critical changes to the U.S. testing strategy. ASM is committed to solving the ongoing supply shortage concerns,” ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi said in the release. “Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been working with the clinical laboratory leaders to identify ways to tackle this debilitating issue. Our goal is to identify supply shortages that are affecting day-to-day testing,” he added.
“Our partnership with ASM enabled us to modify the platform that was developed with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help underserved, less-established markets in Africa get the lifesaving supplies they need,” added ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi. “Customized to meet the needs of labs in the United States, the platform provides a near real-time visualization into the capacity, utilization and resources necessary to meet consumer and patient demand for testing.
“The success of the tool relies on the collaboration between public and private enterprises; we are proud to partner with ASM and its members to ensure that effective COVID-19 and other diagnostic testing is readily available throughout the United States.”