BARDA and JHU team up to evaluate near-the-patient flu diagnostics

Johns Hopkins University plans to conduct research on the impact of near-the-patient flu diagnostic tests over the next three years with the support of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority.

The study will mark the first time BARDA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has entered into a cooperative partnership with a non-government partner. The study will be funded by BARDA and is expected to cost $4.4 million.

"Specifically the University's School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., will assess the performance of rapid, near-patient tests and evaluate the impact of influenza testing on the decisions doctors make in prescribing antivirals for emergency patients," BARDA Director Dr. Robin Robinson said. "Johns Hopkins researchers will also develop, validate and implement an electronic clinical decision guide for patients' symptoms and signs of flu; this guide can assist healthcare providers with influenza testing decisions for their emergency department patients who are at increased risk of complications from the influenza. "

The research will also evaluate the feasibility of using an electronic, cloud-based, data aggregation system to consolidate and structure test results and then demonstrate whether such a system can help to communicate results within facilities and across public health networks.