Health economists are great at calculating a value-based price for diagnostic tests. Given the unexpected supply and demand for SARS-CoV-2 tests during the pandemic, efficient allocation of tests and money is important to maximize public health benefits and economic recovery. This talk will help you think like an economist. What is the decision the test result is intended to inform? What is the most efficient and effective cadence of frequent testing for surveillance? We will define the dimensions of diagnostic testing value, including time-to-result, accuracy, health benefits, and access. We will discuss which tests and protocols were chosen to reopen universities, sports leagues, retail stores, and Broadway theaters. Examples will highlight self-collected saliva, pooling specimens, and sequencing. Lastly, we will use the testing value framework to categorize existing technologies on the market and highlight opportunities for innovation.
1. Think like an economist
2. Define the dimensions of value for diagnostic testing
3. Identify product-market fit