Diagnostic tests are an integral part of many public health interventions, guiding delivery of appropriate therapy, and often reducing drug wastage and inappropriate treatment. In the past decade, utilization of diagnostic test devices has increased dramatically in developing countries’ laboratories and more recently in decentralized point of care facilities. Diagnostic tests are also evolving to digital platforms facilitating such things as increased use by non-lab trained resources and reducing the ambiguity of result interpretation.
The use, however, of even the most revolutionary diagnostics often encounter other factors that limit the potential adoption and impact of many new test systems. Of the most significant patient-important constraints is the absence, in many instances, of reliable and timely reporting mechanisms.
The slow flow of test results and other information to physicians and clinicians when timely assessment may be paramount to intervention decisions is often cited as a problem along with the absence in many cases of information to the patient.
The Connected Diagnostics Initiative (CDX) is a joint program led by the international nonprofit organizations FIND Diagnostics and InSTEDD. The initiative partners with the public and private sector to advance connected diagnostics. CDX has the potential to change the way health data is shared, and to alter the health technology landscape in the same way that mobile phones did in 1990s. Providing reliable connectivity to diagnostic devices and establishing strong data management flows has implications that will change the face of global health. CDX is an industry initiative, working with many public and private actors including clinics, public health officials, diagnostic manufacturers and policy makers.