Reporting COVID-19 lateral flow test results – AI trial

Reporting COVID-19 lateral flow test results – AI trial

February 25, 2021

NHS Digital is trialling new artificial intelligence (AI) software to read test results of lateral flow devices (LFDs), which will make reporting results quicker, easier to understand and more accurate.

Primary care staff, including pharmacy team members, reporting their test results will be able to take part in this trial from the end of next week, where they are reporting using a smartphone or tablet device. The trial includes taking a picture of the test at the end of the normal process to report results.

Taking part in the trial is optional and staff will continue to be able to submit test results in the usual way, however taking part in the trial can help improve the overall reporting process. More information is available in the Primary Care Bulletin sent on 25th February 2021.

As a reminder, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) expect contractors to facilitate the use of LFDs by pharmacy staff, but pharmacy staff participation is on a voluntary basis. Staff who are testing themselves with LFDs have a statutory duty to report their test results – whether negative, positive or invalid.

The Primary Care Support England (PCSE) portal remains open for contractors who have an immediate need to order LFDs, e.g. for new staff. A second round of ordering and deliveries is planned, and contractors will be invited to order more stock in due course. More information will be provided in the Primary Care Bulletin and by PCSE.

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