Improving care through early diagnosis

Today’s innovative medical diagnostic tests play an essential role in arming healthcare professionals with information that allows them to guide decisions. This may ultimately lead to improving patients’ quality of life and helping society better manage chronic conditions and contain the spread of infectious diseases. Diagnostics are most effective when integrated into the health system, with policies and medical practices that encourage a culture of early testing and intervention.

Discover how diagnostics and the precise health information they deliver can increase the performance of national systems and boost the overall quality of healthcare.

Early diagnosis focuses on detecting disease as early as possible for prompt intervention. The three main steps of early diagnosis include1:

  • Awareness and access to care

  • Clinical evaluation, diagnosis and staging

  • Access to treatment

Screening is preventive: where people decide to have medical check-ups when they are in good health, to identify potential emerging risks and conditions. Screening tests include blood analysis, colonoscopy or HPV testing. Learn more about screening in Module II.

When it comes to detecting disease and pinpointing the right treatment for each patient, timing can be crucial. If a disease is diagnosed early, progression may be slowed or even stopped -- and the possibility of cure increases. Diagnostic testing can not only arm patients, families and healthcare professionals with information that may lead to the best possible outcome, it can improve health system efficiency.


  1. Accessed 5 July 2022.

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