Transformative digital diagnostic technologies with Imperial College London
Introduction and aims.
The recent 2023 World Health Assembly passed a resolution highlighting the importance of diagnostics for improving health at a global level. New diagnostic technologies have the potential to revolutionise healthcare in low- and middle-income countries, by bringing fast, accurate, cheap, and connected diagnostics and decision support to where they are most needed. In this session, we will showcase several projects developing and testing transformative digital diagnostics technologies in Africa and will discuss why they are important to achieve UN sustainable development goals.
- Illustrate different approaches to digital diagnostic development
- Explain the potential of digital diagnostics to create new models of healthcare
- Discuss the opportunities and challenges for digital diagnostics and the role that policymakers can play
Most of the population of sub-Saharan Africa does not have access to adequate diagnostics for important health problems like infectious diseases. The infrastructure and training needed for everyone to have easy access to high-quality “bricks and mortar” diagnostic laboratories are currently unaffordable and may be unnecessary. A new generation of digital diagnostic approaches offer a solution to this problem which could underpin more efficient and equitable healthcare, delivered at the point of need. However, these new technologies will only be able to leapfrog traditional approaches if they are enabled by a conducive policy and regulatory environment.
Bringing together policy and strategy expertise with researchers from six large international consortium projects, we will present integrated digital solutions utilising diverse approaches, including:
- Point-of-care molecular detection methods for infectious diseases
- Artificial intelligence image analysis for diagnosis of tuberculosis and other diseases
- Data-driven decision support tools for infections in newborn infants
We will discuss the application of digital diagnostic tools to other diseases, and we will illustrate the power of data generated from digital diagnostics, for disease surveillance and real-time decision-making. We will discuss facilitators and barriers to the integration of digital diagnostics into health systems, including regulatory challenges, and will share our experience of building successful partnerships to develop novel solutions and overcome barriers.
Attendees will gain increased knowledge of the types of digital diagnostic technologies which are in advanced development. This will be invaluable as countries and international organisations develop diagnostic strategies for the future.
Attendees will understand the potential benefits of digital diagnostic tools over current diagnostic approaches for individuals, health systems, and global health, and how they can help to achieve sustainable development goals.
Attendees will have an opportunity to explore the barriers to realising the benefits of digital diagnostic tools, including policy and regulatory challenges.
Attendees will identify how they can help to remove these barriers and support the successful implementation of transformative digital diagnostic technologies.