23948sdkhjf

Giulia Gaudenzi: ”Key lessons from global health research”

| Av Giulia Gaudenzi | Tipsa redaktionen

The world will still face major challenges in the post Covid-19 pandemic, writes Giulia Gaudenzi at the KTH Division of Nanobiotechnology at Scilifelab, in a column.

Diagnostics has been neglected in the global health agenda for years, but as the Covid-19 pandemic has made clear, is the pillar of global outbreak control and delivery of quality healthcare. Mark Kessel, former president of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), a global health non-profit based in Switzerland, wrote in 2014 in Nature Biotechnology that “in the absence of a concerted effort to fund diagnostics, the terror infectious diseases can inflict upon the world will not be contained ”. That was not an isolated prediction, but voiced the collective concerns of many of those who have seen diagnostic research underfunded and often de-prioritized.

Läs också: LabDays: ”Det är en ganska mörk bild jag pekar ut nu”

The COVID 19 pandemic has taught everyone, that as much as medicines and vaccines, diagnostics matters, and access to it should be a human right. Recent global efforts in COVID-19 diagnostic research have been incredible. In just a few weeks we have seen hundreds of tests, prototypes and on-going trials. As predicted, the science is not the trickiest part of it. So why is the diagnostic conversation and efforts initiated only once the outbreaks strike? 

The current development is resonant of the West African Ebola epidemic in 2014, but much more global in nature. During the Ebola outbreak diagnostics tests were needed for multiple applications, such as triage, diagnosis, confirmation, and cause of death. While some of the tests developed were limited to a certain application, others were broader in scope and able to serve multiple applications. In fact, when a test was designed for high clinical performance (e.g. to look for cases in a site without known current infections), it also served in situations when lower clinical performance was still useful (e.g. site of an epidemic). Unfortunately, several of these Ebola diagnostic tests had poor clinical performance and turned out to be of little use in the post-epidemic world.

What are the barriers contributing to poor impact of the technologies produced for the global health demand? First and foremost, technological research for diagnostics is often conducted in high-income countries, with poor understanding of the context in which the technology will be used, i.e. countries’ health systems and culture. Rarely are end-users involved in the early planning stages, or even in the conversation at all. As a result, we see lots of prototypes failing at the commercialization stage.

Second, the “product-centric” view of diagnostics is a problematic barrier to high impact use. This is often the case when novel pointof-care devices are developed. The product itself is of little use, if not developed with a broader contextin mind. In order to know if the technology will have a positive impact on the patient’s life, it would be more relevant to ask the question “how can we successfully complete the cycle from “testing to treatment” instead of “what can thistechnology do?”

Third, thinking of point-of-care diagnostics and central laboratories in dualistic terms is damaging. We should think of them as interlinked. Research shows that when investment is done in strengthening health systems by advancing in central quality-accredited laboratory facilities and in training highly competent medical laboratory scientists, the demand for point-ofcare testing increases. Point-of-care testing should be seen as a gap-filler for better patient empowerment and to deliver quality primary health care and not for replacing the function of a central laboratory.

What have we learned from years of underfunded global health diagnostics research? Diseases rarely disappear. In the post Covid-19 pandemic, the world will still face major challenges, such as Antimicrobial resistance, TB, Pneumonia, Malaria and HIV, and the need for reliable and efficient diagnostics of the highest quality will still be there. These needs are global and so the effort must be global. As scientists in high income settings, it is our responsibility to join efforts with our colleagues from lower resource settings in order to close the gap in access to diagnostics so as to improve health and save lives everywhere. Often the best solutions are made by people who fully understand the context in which the solutions will be applied. As the global north will come out strained from the Covid-19 crisis, we should see this as an opportunity to learn from our colleagues in the global south for how to rebuild resilient health systems

Covid-19 has shown all of us how critical global public health is, but more importantly the value on which it is based; that health equity is a human right. Nobody should get sick from preventable diseases or die from preventable deaths, because of a lack of access to reliable diagnostics. If diagnostic solutions are available then they should be made available to everyone, not only to the privileged few. If solutions are still missing, then we should make sure adequate funding is available for better diagnostic
research. After this crisis, I hope no one will need to make the case for why it is important to invest in global health. 

Mer om: giulia gaudenzi
Håll dig uppdaterad med Life Science Sweden

Jag accepterar Nordiske Mediers villkor och avtal

Är du prenumerant? Bli prenumerant

Med en prenumeration får du obegränsad tillgång till webbtidningen. Läs webbtidningen online.

Kommentarer (0)

JOBB I FOKUS

Startsidan just nu

Life Science Sweden tar sommarledigt

Vi på redaktionen går på semester och är tillbaka den 3 augusti. Vi hoppas att ni får en riktigt trevlig sommar! 

Jobb & karriär
Flera förändringar i Oncopeptides ledning

Rockad och nyrekrytering karaktäriserar bolagets tillsättning av ny vd samt forskningschef.

Regeringen tillsätter coronakommission

Finans
Lipigons nyemission övertecknad

Rekordmånga läser Life Science Sweden

Intresset för tidningen har ökat kraftigt. Under våren har antalet besökare tredubblats.

Nyhetsbrev

Studie: Fler skulle kunna vara immuna mot covid-19

Preliminära resultat pekar på att fler kan vara immuna mot covid-19, även om de fått negativt antikroppssvar.

Arkiv

Gileads besked – så mycket kommer remdesivir kosta

Priset för att behandla en covid-19-patient med remdesvir landar på 21 800 kronor. – Det är lite lägre än vad jag trodde, säger Anders Sönnerborg till Life Science Sweden.

2

Krönika
Torgny Fornstedt: Analytisk kemi måste hitta tillbaka till sina rötter

Det behövs fler kunniga analytiska kemister både på universiteten och inom industrin, skriver Torgny Fornstedt i en krönika.

Keminyheter
Sverige vill ha en EU-gemensam kemikaliestrategi

Lovande resultat för oral terapi vid atopiskt eksem

Jobb & karriär
Mattias Bergqvist ny ledamot i Scandinavian CRO

Atrogi får anslag för fetmaforskning

Forskningsföretaget Atrogi har fått ett anslag från Eurostar för utveckling av en substans mot fetma.

2

Ledare
Samuel Lagercrantz: Bergström bra val som vaccinsamordnare

Valet av Richard Bergström som vaccinsamordnare för covid-19 är glädjande, skriver Life Science Swedens chefredaktör Samuel Lagercrantz i en kommentar till gårdagens besked.

LSS in English
Marie Gårdmark: Do EMA and FDA talk to each other?

Of course they do! The collaboration started already in 2003, writes Marie Gårdmark in a column.

Remdesivir på väg mot EU-godkännande

Det europeiska läkemedelsverket EMA:s vetenskapliga kommitté rekommenderar remdesivir för godkännande för behandling av covid-19.

Finans
Aegirbio debuterar på Nasdaq First North

Stor genomslagskraft för immunterapi i Sverige

Internationell uppståndelse kring Tegnells sommarprat

Utländska medier har uppmärksammat Anders Tegnells uttalande där han beskriver andra länders agerande kring coronapandemin som ”galenskap”.

Keminyheter
Rötter och grenar blir vårdkläder

2

Tom Britton: ”Nivån för flockimmunitet är lägre än vad vi trott”

Nya matematiska modeller pekar på att flockimmunitetsnivån är kraftigt lägre än vad man tidigare trott, och att immuniteten i dagsläget spelar en större roll, enligt en ny rapport.

Vitalis blir digital konferens

Jobb & karriär
Maja Johansson blir chef för nya vaccinanläggningen i Umeå

Sedan en månad tillbaka är Maja Johansson ny site manager för Diamyd Medicals nya tillverkningsenhet i Umeå.

Remdesivir ges till barn med covid-19 i ny studie

Finans
Avgiften för klinisk läkemedelsprövning ökar med 250 procent

Ansökningsavgiften för kliniska prövningar höjs från 50 000 kronor till 123 000–148 000 kronor till följd av en ny EU-förordning, enligt rapport från Läkemedelsverket.

Selectimmune rekryterar ny vd

Tillväxtanalys ska bevaka life-science industrins utveckling

Vinnova stödjer KTH:s testkit för antikroppar mot covid-19

Jobb & karriär
Abigo nyanställer

Elektas vd avgår med omedelbar verkan

Ansiktsmask krävs för covidskydd enligt Science-artikel

Jobb & karriär
Cellavision tappar vd

Keminyheter
Kemikalieinspektionen i topp i arbetsplatsranking

1

Apotea och Werlabs säljer antikroppstest för covid-19

Läkemedelsverket förbjuder ett till covidtest

Röntgen visar hur coronaviruset förökar sig

Jobb & karriär
Micropos får ny vd

Se alla Medlemsnytt

Cobra signs supply agreement with AstraZeneca

Ny medarbetare till PharmaRelations i Norge

PharmaRelations stärker upp med ny konsultchef

Join us for a webinar on confocal microscopy!

3D Scanning Systems - Innovative Solutions for 3D digitizin

Akut produktion av desinfektionsmedel med hjälp av Busch

Improve your metrology skills, also @home.

Leverans av Busch vakuumsystem till Brasilien

Cleaning and Disinfecting Microscope and Optical Components

Busch Vakuum Solutions levererar till sjukhus i Palestina

Are you working from home?

Busch Vacuum Solutions levererar till sjukhustrailers i USA

Centralisering av vakuum från Busch Vacuum Solutions

Increase efficiency in the lab!

Verifiering vid tillverkning av Ventilatorer

Busch levererar vakuumsystem till akutsjukhus i Madrid

Samarbete mellan Busch i Schweiz och Frankrike mot Corona

Rening av gaser med vakuumteknik från Busch Vacuum Solutions

Optimize measurement plans remotely with free ZEISS CALYPSO

Find what you need from the ZEISS Industrial Quality world.

Biofiltrering med Busch TYR Blåsmaskin

Ny Country Manager PharmaRelations Norge

Perfekt packad skinka med vakuum från Busch

Last week, we introduced ZEISS Lightsheet 7.

Fiskodling med vakuum från Busch Vacuum Solutions

Sänd till en kollega

0.188