The briefing provides an at-glance-view of some of the big things happening in the information universe surrounding COVID-19. The views presented here are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders.

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ECRI Horizon Scanning has selected the topics below as those with potential for impact relative to COVID-19 in the United States within the next 12 months. All views presented are preliminary and based on readily available information at the time of writing.

Because these topics are rapidly developing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information after the date listed on this publication. In addition, all views expressed in the commentary section are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders. Topics are listed in alphabetical order.

Contact Tracing Software Systems to Mitigate Epidemic Scenarios

At a Glance

  • Bluetooth-enabled devices (eg, smartphones) with contact tracing apps installed on them can track proximity between people, notify someone who was near an infected person, and provide advice on what to do next.
  • The systems require users to opt in and report a COVID-19 diagnosis, allowing for contact tracing and data access to public health systems.
  • Contact tracing apps might also inform governments and public health agencies about the spread of infection.

mRNA-1273 Vaccine for Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection

At a Glance

  • mRNA-1273 (Moderna, Inc) is an investigational messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine against novel coronavirus designed to induce protective immune responses.
  • In a phase 1 study, 8 healthy adults receiving 2 doses of the vaccine purportedly generated neutralizing antibodies after 43 days.
  • mRNA-1273 is in phase 2 development, with primary completion expected March 2021. The manufacturer is finalizing the protocol for a pivotal phase 3 study expected to begin in July 2020.

Statewide Surge Line for Patient Load Management

At a Glance

  • The Arizona Surge Line is a statewide patient load–balancing system that facilitates the transfer between facilities of critically ill patients with presumed or confirmed COVID-19.
  • A 24/7 toll-free call line has transfer agents who review critical care availability for each hospital in the state and transfer the calls to a site with appropriate bed and ventilator capacity.
  • Patient transport to other facilities might cause financial burden to patients or families because of payer restrictions and transportation costs.

We welcome your comments on this Scan. Send them by email to [email protected] or
by mail to: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.

Commentary in this COVID-19 Scan reflects preliminary views of ECRI Horizon Scanning and internal ECRI stakeholders. This information contained in this document has not been vetted by other stakeholders.


Posted: June 19, 2020

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