Grand Challenges in Global Health Diagnostics is a joint initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada, a not-for-profit organization to support new initiatives that have a real impact on global health.
The tools that make it possible to accurately and easily assess a person’s health status, define the risk of disease and deliver appropriate treatment are often lacking in the developing world. In addition, little information about the burden of certain diseases is available to guide population health decisions, leading to serious consequences for treatment. According to studies conducted by the Diagnostics Forum, the development of common point-of-care diagnostics platforms (POC Dx) is the solution.
Aims and challenges
Improve global access to in vitro diagnostics by developing a POCT system designed for resource-limited sites (Level 1 labs) that provides the necessary and sufficient menu to make local treatment decisions. Investigate how industry could act as a consolidator and facilitator.
Creation of new POC Dx tools:
The aim of the project is to create a new diagnostic method for various diseases based on systems developed by researchers supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This new system must be easy to use and inexpensive, be designed to meet needs in the field, and allow the emergence of a new commercial environment conducive to its rapid implementation in the developing world.
- Lead an analysis of the environment, prepare an inventory of existing business models and propose new models.
- Propose to existing diagnostics associations the creation of a partnership between associations in the developed world and those in the developing world.
- With the Foundation’s teams and consultants, commit to collaborating on other components of the diagnostics sector (distribution, interface, regulations) as and when needed.
I would understand your experience and voice representing the experience and interests of industry will be valuable in this process as well. I assume they will include representatives from a cross-section of expertise in the process.
Gene Walther, Deputy Director Diagnostics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Thank you for the dates on your next trip to Bangladesh and the invitation to join you. I enjoyed our conversation yesterday and enjoyable dinner. I will quickly assess the various aspects of the STAG program for the POC Dx project and get back in touch.
Gene Walther, Deputy Director, Diagnostics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
It was great to see you and hear about your progress in helping incubate companies, serve as a global health diplomat and engage students in our passion!
Peter M. Small, MD Senior Program Officer, TB Global Health Program
The Diagnostics team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to better understand the challenges of regulating diagnostics for the developing world. As part of this effort, we are gathering external perspectives on this issue (procurers, manufacturers, regulators, etc.) and learning from each group’s assessment of the current state and goals/priorities for the future. Given your wealth of experience, both Gene and I thought you would have valuable insights on this topic.
Vincent I. Ahonkhai, MD, FAAP Senior Regulatory Officer, Global Health Delivery, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation