The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of having analytical devices that allow a simple, fast, and robust detection of pathogens which cause epidemics and pandemics. The information these devices can collect is crucial for health authorities to make effective decisions to contain the disease's advance. The World Health Organization published a list of primary pathogens that have raised concern as potential causes of future pandemics. Unfortunately, there are no rapid diagnostic tests commercially available and approved by the regulatory bodies to detect most of the pathogens listed by the WHO. This report describes these pathogens, the available detection methods, and highlights areas where more attention is needed to produce rapid diagnostic tests for future pandemic surveillance.