The greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network—SCAN for short—is a collaboration between Public Health — Seattle & King County and leading medical, public health, and research organizations, to understand the spread of COVID-19 in the greater Seattle region. The research team behind the Seattle Flu Study (SFS) is now working to support public health response to the coronavirus outbreak, and to help protect our community. Dr. Matthew Thompson and a team of research scientists in the Department of Family Medicine are leading the logistics and kit fabrication efforts in SCAN after working for several years on comparative accuracy and feasibility studies on rapid diagnostic tests for influenza, designed for at-home use.
SCAN is asking people—whether they show symptoms or not—to sign up and help us understand how the virus is spreading in our community. These insights will help public health officials better understand the coronavirus outbreak and potentially inform public health decisions. SCAN employs an at-home, self-swab collection kit and innovative research methods including viral sequencing of pathogens and data modeling to monitor the spread of the virus. SCAN is not able to offer testing to every individual but the whole community will benefit from the program. SCAN will help us advance how we track and try to slow transmission of viruses like COVID-19. We believe this work in Seattle can help lead the way forward for the rest of the country.
SFS is an initiative of the Brotman Baty Institute, a partnership between University of Washington Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children’s. SCAN relies on data modeling support from the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM). SCAN is funded by Gates Ventures (the private office of Bill Gates) and receives technical guidance from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other public health authorities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta) is providing in-person technical assistance to help launch SCAN.
Publication (NEJM): https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2008646?query=featured_coronavirus