Module I: The value of diagnostics in the patient journey
Published 4 October 2021
For decades, diagnostic tools have contributed to improving patient care by enabling patients and their clinicians to make medical decisions earlier and more accurately.
Yet, these tools are still undervalued, a silent champion. The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably helped increase awareness of the role diagnostic solutions play in disease prevention and management. Who would have thought in early 2019 that the words “PCR” or “antigen testing” would have become so prominent in everyday language across the world?
Before the pandemic hit the world in 2020, PCR techniques were already being used in diagnosing infections such as influenza, viral hepatitis or HIV.
A wide range of diagnostic solutions are currently available or in development for almost all of today’s most prevalent diseases, such as cancer, heart conditions, sepsis and other infectious diseases. They are used to detect disease, or the presence of bacteria, viruses, or risk factors that could cause illness. But that’s not all. Diagnostic solutions are also being used to identify the right treatment options for a specific patient and their condition or disease as well as being able to monitor a patient’s response to that treatment.
We are not a world that actually thinks about health as prevention. We think about treating people once they are sick. Yet, diagnostic tools are available to ensure prevention, early detection and intervention at an early stage. All of these tools must be widely used across the world to help people stay healthy.
Recognising the value of diagnostics, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an “Essential Diagnostics List”, which includes in-vitro diagnostics that should be available in all countries to increase timely and life-saving diagnoses.
Access to diagnostics is a global priority. However, the level of ambition has not been met with the necessary level of funding. Increased access required increased funding and innovation.1
So, how to ensure sustainable funding for diagnostic solutions so that people around the world can access them and receive the most appropriate care in turn? Do we need new funding models to bring innovation to the world’s population? What existing mechanisms or collaborations could be leveraged to ensure equitable access to existing and future diagnostics?
Our Advisory Council Experts will help provide answers to these crucial questions in the subsequent modules. Before getting there, take some time to read through the Diagnostic Journey Atlas foreword by Thomas Schinecker (CEO, Roche Diagnostics).
Diagnostics have a positive impact on your health, the health of the people you care about, and on society as a whole
Ensuring equitable access to diagnostics is also about the transformation of healthcare.
What does the future of diagnostics look like? How can diagnostic tools and digitalisation support the transformation of healthcare? How can innovation help overcome access challenges?
These are some crucial questions that Dr Durhane Wong-Rieger and Thomas Schinecker are answering in the below audio introductory moderated by Vivienne Parry.
Listen to a lively discussion between our speakers about the life-changing value of diagnostics with Durhane Wong-Rieger, Thomas Schinecker and moderated by Vivienne Parry.