Arizona State University (ASU)

Arizona State University and World Economic Forum, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, announce COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons to help companies get back to work

Ground-breaking new survey will reach thousands of businesses worldwide to help employees return to the workplace more safely and effectively

Newswise — PHOENIX, July 27, 2020 — To help companies safely move their employees back to the workplace, Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions and the World Economic Forum, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, announced today the COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons — an interactive hub for the global community to access the very latest information about testing options and to share knowledge and practices for safely bringing back and keeping employees in the workplace during the COVID-19 era. 

The COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons project is co-led by Mara Aspinall, the founder of Health Catalysts Group and a professor of practice at ASU’s College of Health Solutions, and Nate Wade, the senior director of strategic initiatives at ASU’s College of Health Solutions. “We need to take back control from the virus with knowledge,” said Aspinall. “Knowledge is power, and the COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons is designed to give companies around the world the power to leverage data from their peers and bring their employees back to the workplace more safely and effectively. Our survey will gather information, and our educational events will enable discussion so that businesses can collaborate and learn from each other.” 

The survey, which is now open, collects information from employers about who is tested, how frequently, with what test, and at what cost, along with contact tracing response and preparedness needs, plus anticipated and actual challenges experienced over the short- and long-term. Employers of all types, sizes and geographic locations are invited to complete the survey at The survey is completely anonymous to ensure participant privacy. Once the data is compiled during this first round of outreach, thousands of decision makers at companies and organizations worldwide, along with policymakers in their region, will have open access to the results and findings via an interactive online dashboard. 

“Protecting workers is the number one concern for business leaders from around the world,” said Genya Dana, the head of health care transformation at the World Economic Forum. “We believe this new community and the database of current practices and lessons learned will help these leaders accelerate best practices and make informed plans as the pandemic evolves.”

Collaborating with employers to address a global health crisis is an important part of ASU’s College of Health Solutions’ mission. “This new partnership allows us to bring our research, training and education expertise and businesses’ health and safety needs together, aligning with our aim to improve health outcomes worldwide using actionable, evidence-based solutions,” said Deborah Helitzer, the dean of ASU’s College of Health Solutions.

Real-world, timely and accessible data on workplace reopening, testing and employee safety initiatives is needed to get the global economy back on track. To that end, two critical resources are now available at the COVID-19 Diagnostics Commons with more in development. Current resources include: 

  • The COVID-19 Workplace Commons, which collects and disseminates data to employers, policymakers and funders to better equip them to make informed decisions about back-to-workplace policies, practices and priorities. The information is collected through the global Keeping Workers Well survey deployed quarterly to thousands of employers worldwide. 
  • The COVID-19 Testing Commons, a comprehensive database of COVID-19 tests worldwide containing information on all tests currently on the market and in the pipeline. It is updated regularly and allows users to search by multiple parameters including test type, technology, regulatory status, country of origin and more.

“Workers and consumers around the world not only need to be safe, but also feel safe, and one of the best ways to do this is by expanded access to testing,” said Dr. Jonathan “Jono” D. Quick, managing director for pandemic response, preparedness and prevention at The Rockefeller Foundation and author of “The End of Epidemics.” “But with over 1,400 tests currently on the market or in the pipeline, businesses and public health administrators need the right tools to make the right purchase choices. The COVID-19 Testing Commons is that tool to help decision-makers find the tests that most closely match their needs.”

In addition to the interactive online dashboards for workplace practices and test information, ASU and World Economic Forum, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, will help employers and policymakers in scaling and updating their use of testing strategies as the pandemic continues to evolve. These initiatives will include monthly communities of practice focused on testing pain points and solutions, webinars with industry experts focused on how to implement best practices, and case studies of exemplar uses of testing and diagnostics as identified through survey results and communities of practice. All resources will be available at

About ASU’s College of Health Solutions 

The College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University is dedicated to translating scientific health research and discovery into practical interventions. Its programs prepare students to address the challenges facing our populations to stay healthy, improve their health and manage chronic disease — all toward improving health outcomes. Programs are offered in behavioral health, biomedical informatics and biomedical diagnostics, kinesiology and exercise science, health care delivery, nutrition, population health, and speech and hearing science. The college’s online master of science in biomedical diagnostics degree is designed to address the role of diagnostics in clinical decision making. Graduates are prepared to make an impact in the health workforce and shift the focus of health from sickness to wellness, addressing the factors that enable populations to be and stay healthy. 

 About World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.


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