On April 29, 2020, in his Director’s Blog, NIH Director Francis Collins (photo), MD, PhD, described the NIH launch of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative. The text of Dr. Collins’ remarks in his blog are provided here. “Step into any major medical center, and you will see the amazing power of technology at work. From X-rays to functional MRIs, blood typing to DNA sequencing, heart-lung machines to robotic surgery, the progress that biomedical technology has made over the past century or so stands as a testament to human ingenuity—and its ability to rise to the all-important challenge of saving lives and improving health. Today, our nation is in the midst of trying to contain a most formidable health threat: the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. I’m convinced that biomedical technology has a vital role to play in this urgent effort, which is why the NIH today launched the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative. Fueled by a bold $1.5 billion investment made possible by federal stimulus funding, RADx is an urgent call for science and engineering’s most inventive and visionary minds—from the basement to the board room—to develop rapid, easy-to-use testing technologies for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To achieve this, NIH will work closely with our colleagues at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” “If all goes well, RADx aims to support innovative technologies that will make millions more rapid SARS-CoV-2 tests available to Americans by late summer or fall.
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