​​​​Open challenge contest on decentralised testing models for infectious diseases

​Have you been tested for an infectious disease far away from a clinic (for example, testing at home, school, or pharmacy)? 

​Have you organised or evaluated a self-testing or self-sampling project? 

Join our challenge contest on decentralised testing!


Testing for many infectious diseases is moving out of the clinical laboratory and into people’s lives. New models for testing are being developed in which people are empowered to test on their own, with minimal input from health professionals. People can now directly get tested through internet platforms, schools, supermarkets, and pharmacies. This opens the door for new service delivery approaches that may reduce cost, increase convenience, save time, and accelerate diagnosis. 

The Call for Submissions

The purpose of this contest is to solicit entries on self-testing and self-sampling with the aim of identifying different forms of decentralised testing services. Self-testing is a process in which an individual collects his or her own sample (for example, saliva or blood), performs the test, and interprets it. Meanwhile, self-sampling is when an individual takes their own sample and sends it to a clinic or laboratory for testing.

For this contest, all entries should describe infectious disease decentralised testing. We define decentralised testing as testing at a site that does not have a laboratory.

Who can join the contest?

The call is open to anyone and entries can be either personal or organisational/evaluation experiences.

Personal experiences

Organizational and evaluation experiences



We will provide commendation and participatory prizes for all eligible entries. Commendation certificates will be provided for all entries received. A total of 1000 USD in prizes (for example, gift cards) will be given to selected finalists. Some descriptions of decentralised testing will be included in a peer-reviewed research manuscript for publication, with credit to the submitter. If individuals who submitted the concept meet criteria for co-authorship, they will be included as co-authors. Exceptional finalist models may be shared with members of the Lancet diagnostics commission.



All entries should be submitted via the website submission portal by 11:59 GMT on 27th October 2019.

Organisational/evaluation entries

Personal entries 


Data protection and publicity

All personal information shared during this contest will be processed in accordance with the current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.

By submitting your entry to the contest, you agree to grant the organisers the right to use, display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, alter, store, and re-format your entry and any accompanying materials. 


What is self-testing?

Self-testing is a process in which an individual collects his or her own sample, performs the test using self-test strips or kits and then either interprets the results.

What is self-sampling?

Self-sampling of samples occurs when an individual takes their own sample, and send it to a clinic or laboratory for testing. This is sometimes called self-collection.

What is decentralised testing?

Decentralised testing refers to any testing that is done outside of a hospital/clinic with laboratory facilities. This includes both self-testing and self-sampling.

What tests are relevant for this contest?

Any self-testing or self-collection of samples carried out for the following infectious diseases: HIV, HPV, HBV, HCV, syphilis, chlamydia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, malaria, influenza and other infectious diseases is eligible. 

What self –tests are excluded:

The following self-tests are not eligible for this contest, pregnancy and ovulation self-test kits, strips for blood sugar monitoring in diabetes, blood pressure self-monitoring, other self-monitoring in mental health. Routine stool and urine samples requested by clinic are also excluded.

Do I need to state the outcome of the test?

No, you do not need to tell us the results of the test. Just describe the decentralised model, how did you access the test? Did you have to pay for it? Did you run the test by yourself and interpret the results or did you send the test kit to a physician for interpreting the results?


Can I publish my entry sent to this contest?

Yes, if you have plans of publishing your entry, you can still go ahead to publish your contribution 

I don’t speak English; how can I participate?

You can still participate, it’s okay to have someone translate your entry into English language and then submit the English version to us.

Steering committee members

Joseph D. Tucker, Catharina Boehme, Nitika Pant Pai, Philippa Easterbrook, Trevor Peter, Wei Ma, John Flanigan, Sridhar Ramanathan, Saurabh Rane, Sarah-Jane Loveday, Karishma Saran, Weiming Tang, Gifty Marley, Noah Fongwen, Sima Berendes, Eneyi Kpokiri, Dan Wu. 


If you have any questions, please email Dr. Eneyi Kpokiri at eneyi.kpokiri@lshtm.ac.uk.

Partner organizations