When to Test Offers a Free Online Tool to Help People Make Informed COVID-19 Testing Decisions


Demand is increasing for COVID-19 testing among individuals and families, especially as winter approaches and people are turning to indoor activities. The National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative today announced the launch of the When To Test for Individuals calculator, a companion to the organizational version launched last winter. By responding to a few prompts, the new Individual Impact Calculator shows whether someone needs to take a test, now or soon.

The When to Test for Individuals Calculator was developed and tested by computer modelers to help people determine whether they are at risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 based on a few variables, such as vaccination status, rates of transmission in the geographic area, and mitigation behaviors. The calculator includes answers to frequently asked questions and links to resources on testing strategies and obtaining supplies, including home testing.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) supported the development of When to test the website and calculators through the RADx Tech program.


NIBIB Director Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., who leads the RADx Tech program, is available for comment.

About the Rapid Diagnostics Acceleration Initiative (RADxSM): The RADx initiative was launched on April 29, 2020 to accelerate innovation in the development, commercialization and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing. The initiative includes four programs: RADx Tech, RADx Advanced Technology Platforms, RADx Underserved Populations and RADx Radical. It builds on the existing NIH Point-of-Care technology research network. The RADx initiative partners with federal agencies, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, the Department of Defense, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and the United States Food and Drug Administration. Learn more about the RADx initiative and its programs.

About the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB): NIBIB’s mission is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care. NIBIB supports research and development of emerging technologies within its internal laboratories and through grants, collaborations and training. More information is available on the NIBIB website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH, the national agency for medical research, comprises 27 institutes and centers and is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH is the principal federal agency that conducts and supports basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and studies the causes, treatments, and cures for common and rare diseases. For more information about the NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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