Access to early diagnostics improves the quality of healthcare

Early and personalised diagnosis helps inform treatment plans, which can improve patient care. This in turn can advance the overall performance of our health systems.

Access to the right information at the right time contributes to better health outcomes. Armed with precise and actionable information from early diagnosis, physicians can in some cases prevent or contain more serious conditions. This diagnostic information also empowers patients to make more informed decisions and to work with their physicians on determining effective treatment options – such as choosing to participate infor some conditions.

Having accurate information early in a patient’s medical journey can help answer several of patients' most urgent questions, such as: how serious is my illness? What should I expect from my treatment? If I have an infection, will my treatment eliminate it or prevent me from spreading the infection? How can I prevent or delay the progression of my illness?

In some cases, early diagnosis can help answer these questions, potentially increase a patient’s chances of survival - or even cure - and lighten their emotional and financial burdens.

An emerging range of innovative diagnostic tools and technologies allows more precise analysis of patients’ conditions, and may reduce the need for more invasive tests or procedures. Automation, artificial intelligence, digital pathology and personalised healthcare innovations such as biomarker testing and liquid biopsies allow physicians to rapidly identify and treat many conditions.

Tumour boards allow sharing of oncology expertise and learning between cancer specialists from local, national and global exchange scientific and technical resources, request technical advice, engage in training and problem solving together, across countries and regions – face-to-face and virtually.

High-sensitivity testing gives patients a clear and rapid advance warning of potential heart problems such as(heart attack). Results of a high sensitivity test can reduce patients’ time in the emergency room by 80 minutes – speeding healthcare providers’ clinical response times and helping to better manage costs to the

Some countries are sharing news about the importance of diagnostic testing with their people. Through successful national campaigns around early diagnosis and testing, Taiwan is serving as a model for other countries.

Liver disease is a serious public health issue in Taiwan. About 20% of adults areThe Liver Disease Prevention and Treatment Foundation (Gan Ji Hwei) – one of Asia's most successful patient advocacy groups – isIt runs patient awareness and education campaigns and workshops, and promotes free screening, diagnostics and treatment programmes. Since 2019, free HBV and HCV testing has been available to everyone in Taiwan 45-79 years old, an initiative that has led to a decline in liver cancer.

Chief Executive Officer Yang Pei-Ming, also emeritus professor of internal medicine at the National Taiwan University Hospital, explains the foundation’s ‘transformative’ focus: "Nearly 80% of liver cancer cases are associated with chronic HBV or HCV infection, so treating and controlling the disease course can help prevent it."

After receiving her cancer diagnosis, Yvonne recalls: “I went home with a new reality in my life. I had so many questions: what does the pathology report mean, is my treatment plan the right one, are there any other treatment options or recommendations? What can I do myself to get cured?”

Bernard says: "I really acknowledge that there is a need to change. What I decided to change, number one, is listening to my body. Very often, we don’t pay enough attention … if you are in doubt of symptoms, if you notice something that changed, take it seriously and take it early."

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