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PRIoritize_Dx Tool

23 March 2021

The Pandemic Response Initiative (PRI), a partnership between IDinsight and the Institute for Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, introduces PRIoritize_Dx, an interactive tool to help Ministries of Health and COVID-19 task forces more strategically allocate tests. This tool allows policy-makers to input details on their country context and then outputs a tailored prioritization of COVID-19 testing strategies among different population groups and stages of outbreak.

PRioritize_Dx screenshot

PRIoritize_Dx tool - 431 KB

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PRIoritize_Dx web tool


About the tool

This tool was created over the past six months through a process of close collaboration with our partners at UCSF as well as the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which is currently rolling the tool out to their country teams. For a step-by-step guide on how to use the tool and interpret the results, please see this slide deck. Users can also refer to our recent blog post, which outlines the three criteria of a high-impact COVID-19 test, for more background on our approach.

Using the tool

To demonstrate how the PRIoritize_Dx tool might help a country optimize the use of their COVID-19 tests, we can illustrate a hypothetical example. Prior to using the tool, here is the situation in the country:

  • Context: A district in a developing country with a large population and generally high density. In this district, most people will only isolate if they have a positive COVID-19 test result. As part of the government’s response strategy, areas with high rates of new infections are “locked down” in order to curb spread. Since the pandemic began, test turnaround times have improved dramatically and are now very rapid. However, the district’s contact tracing program is still limited by staff capacity, and so it is difficult to formally trace non-household contacts.
  • Current strategy: Testing in this district has been inconsistent, but generally there is a focus on surveillance activities in areas with no reported cases.

After using the PRIoritize_Dx tool, this country can shift their testing resources towards a more optimized strategy:

  • Deploy tests to regions where there are a few clusters of COVID-19 cases, but no widespread community transmission. This is likely to help detect new infections quickly and stop transmission.
  • In areas with large, ongoing outbreaks, focus tests on people with high transmission risk, like essential workers and health care workers. These people might have mild presentation of COVID-19, but are at a high risk of spreading to others.

This is likely to help detect new infections quickly, reduce spread, and maintain the health care workforce.


Through feedback from users as well as new research, we will continue to expand and refine this tool. For questions, comments, and suggestions, reach out to our team at