The challenge of changing the healthcare outcomes of many in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) looms as a major potential cost to all of humankind. A majority of global health initiatives have focused upon increasing access and innovation in treatment options. However, the reliable and appropriate use of candidate treatments must be preceded by diagnoses that ensure the correct clinical path. Foremost in addressing this challenge is the need to develop and distribute appropriate, low cost, accessible diagnostic technologies to engender quality care. Such a need is pressing, for both communicable and non-communicable diseases, which continue to present a growing burden to LMICs. The emergence of paper diagnostics, microfluidic-based total analytical systems (μTAS), BioMEMS, and nano-inspired bioanalytical biosensors; which by their very sophistication promise to render diagnostic tests simple and potentially widely affordable, present exciting options to addressing this need. This paper discusses complementary policy issues in regulation and procurement that must be considered to make low cost, point of care diagnostic technology an accepted step in patient care within LMICs and presents a number of emerging technologies that are poised to address this need.
- Low-cost diagnostics
- Paper diagnostics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Biomedical Engineering