IQVIA Collaborates with ONS, Oxford University and UK Biocentre to Launch Accelerated COVID-19 Infection Survey

Apr 23, 2020

IQVIA, one of the UK’s leading providers of clinical research, has joined forces with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Oxford University and UK Biocentre, to immediately commence a country-wide testing programme of UK households for COVID-19 infection and immunity. IQVIA is providing its highly experienced, UK-based nurses to rapidly undertake the collection of blood samples and swabs from people who have agreed to take part.

Launched today (Thursday, 23rd April) by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) will involve collecting blood samples and swab tests from households to find out how many people have COVID-19, how many people have developed antibodies, and inform the rate of community transmission. 

IQVIA nurse teams will lead the blood and swab collection from people who choose to participate following invitation from the ONS, which will begin issuing invitations this week to individual households. IQVIA nursing staff will have routine tests for COVID-19 prior to visiting households and will of course follow NHS recommendations about the appropriate level of Protective Personal Equipment.

IQVIA has set up a dedicated appointment helpline so residents can confidentially book their COVID-19 tests to be undertaken in the privacy of their own home, by IQVIA nursing staff. The de-identified blood samples will be sent to Oxford University for rapid antibody testing, whilst swabs for infection testing will be sent to UK Biocentre.

25,000 people will be tested in the first phase of the COVID-19 Infection Survey which will potentially be scaled up to 300,000 people over the next 12 months.

Undertaking this ambitious community study through the nationwide team of experienced IQVIA nurses will support frontline community NHS nurses and phlebotomists to continue to provide exceptional care for those who need it.

Speaking about IQVIA’s involvement in the COVID-19 Infection Survey, UK General Manager and Senior Vice President for Northern Europe Tim Sheppard said: “IQVIA is proud to be playing our part in helping to understand COVID-19 - the greatest public health challenge that has faced the world in a generation. By enabling this accelerated population study, we will contribute essential evidence of infection and immunity in the UK population for consideration by Government and to inform their next steps in tackling the pandemic. 

“Our nursing team has 30 years’ experience of working with the NHS to support patient care. This population study is vital, time-critical work, and is another part of our global mission to use human data science to fight COVID-19 and change the course of this pandemic.”

Regarding this collaboration, Pete Benton Survey Operations Director Office for National Statistics said: “We are grateful to be able to call on the specialist expertise and capability of IQVIA to help us deliver this vital study at a crucial moment in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”


IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services to the life sciences industry. Formed through the merger of IMS Health and Quintiles, IQVIA applies human data science — leveraging the analytic rigor and clarity of data science to the ever-expanding scope of human science — to enable companies to reimagine and develop new approaches to clinical development and commercialization, speed innovation and accelerate improvements in healthcare outcomes. Powered by the IQVIA CORE™, IQVIA delivers unique and actionable insights at the intersection of large-scale analytics, transformative technology and extensive domain expertise, as well as execution capabilities. With approximately 67,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries.

IQVIA is a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. The company uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. IQVIA’s insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures. To learn more, visit