Case studies

CONDOR – national COVID-19 testing platform

The Manchester-led COVID-19 National DiagnOstic Research and Evaluation (CONDOR) platform created a single, national route for evaluating new diagnostic tests in hospitals and in community healthcare settings.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation – and supported by DiTA – CONDOR played a significant role in the research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched in June 2020, it provided a framework for the performance of then new COVID-19 diagnostic tests to be evaluated at pace.

CONDOR evaluated more than 30 COVID-19 tests that are now widely used by the NHS and in people’s homes – therefore having a significant impact on how we all now live with COVID-19.

This programme brought together highly experienced experts in the field in evaluating diagnostic tests and generating the robust evidence required for a test to be used in the NHS, including former DiTA Director, Professor Rick Body.

Professor Body, who is now Group Director of Research and Innovation at MFT, said: “CONDOR and its hospital-setting arm, FALCON, have ensured patients get better care and NHS staff can make more informed, early decisions about how to control spread of the virus.

As Director of DiTA at the time, I was able to draw upon its resources and make use of my experience of evaluating evidence for diagnostic tests in order to roll-out the CONDOR platform at pace and scale.

To ensure DiTA’s continued involvement in the programme, Dr Annie Yarwood, DiTA Operations Manager, sits on the CONDOR Steering Group.