Special Issue "Implementation and Scale Up of Point of Care (POC) Diagnostics in Resource-Limited Settings"

A special issue of Diagnostics (ISSN 2075-4418). This special issue belongs to the section "Point-of-Care Diagnostics and Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Tivani Mashamba-Thompson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Interests: diagnostics; point of care testing; implementation; scale up; evaluation
Dr. Paul K. Drain
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Global Health, Medicine (Infectious Diseases), and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Mailing Address: 325 Ninth Ave, UW Box 359927, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Interests: HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; point-of-care diagnostics; point-of-care testing; implementation science; global health; resource-limited settings
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Implementating, scaling up and sustaining health interventions is a challenge in practical contexts. The advent of POC diagnostics in resource-limited settings has the potential to improve health outcomes, particularly in disease-burdened countries. Despite recent investment in global health diagnostics, the potential for POC diagnostics to generate value for patients and health systems has not been met across all settings, particularly in low-and middle-income countries where disease burden is high and diagnosis remains a weak point in the health care cascade. Scale up and implementation of new of POC diagnostics in these setting is a global health priority to enable the adoption of new evidence-based POC diagnostics and to replicate and extend the reach of POC diagnostics. Global private and public sector agencies have significantly increased their investment in the development of POC diagnostics to meet the unmet needs of patients in resource-limited settings. However, previous research has demonstrated that the availability of health technologies in these settings does not always guarantee patient-centred outcomes.

The applicability, effectiveness and sustainability of diagnostic technologies is affected by the involvement of all stakeholders during planning and implementation, which must be relevant to each specific context and sensitive to local culture. Factors such as infrastructure, resources, values and characteristics of participants can influence the implementation, scalability and sustainability of health interventions such as POC diagnostics. This Special Issue Implementation and Scale Up of Point of Care (POC) Diagnostics in Resource-Limited Settings” will include literature reviews and primary research studies focusing on the implementation and scale up of POC diagnostics in resource-limited settings.

Prof. Dr. Tivani Mashamba-Thompson
Dr. Paul K. Drain
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • point of care
  • diagnostics
  • implementation
  • scale up

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Point-of-Care Diagnostic Services as an Integral Part of Health Services during the Novel Coronavirus 2019 Era
Diagnostics 2020, 10(7), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10070449 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Point-of-care (POC) diagnostic services are commonly associated with pathology laboratory services. This issue presents a holistic approach to POC diagnostics services from a variety of disciplines including pathology, radiological and information technology as well as mobile technology and artificial intelligence. This highlights the [...] Read more.
Point-of-care (POC) diagnostic services are commonly associated with pathology laboratory services. This issue presents a holistic approach to POC diagnostics services from a variety of disciplines including pathology, radiological and information technology as well as mobile technology and artificial intelligence. This highlights the need for transdisciplinary collaboration to ensure the efficient development and implementation of point-of-care diagnostics. The advent of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has prompted rapid advances in the development of new POC diagnostics. Global private and public sector agencies have significantly increased their investment in the development of POC diagnostics. There is no longer a question about the availability and accessibility of POC diagnostics. The question is “how can POC diagnostic services be integrated into health services in way that is useful and acceptable in the COVID-19 era?”. Full article
Editorial
Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Technology for Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 Self-Testing
Diagnostics 2020, 10(4), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10040198 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 9352
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading with a rising death toll and transmission rate reported in high income countries rather than in low income countries. The overburdened healthcare systems and poor disease surveillance systems in resource-limited settings may struggle to [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading with a rising death toll and transmission rate reported in high income countries rather than in low income countries. The overburdened healthcare systems and poor disease surveillance systems in resource-limited settings may struggle to cope with this COVID-19 outbreak and this calls for a tailored strategic response for these settings. Here, we recommend a low cost blockchain and artificial intelligence-coupled self-testing and tracking systems for COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases. Prompt deployment and appropriate implementation of the proposed system have the potential to curb the transmissions of COVID-19 and the related mortalities, particularly in settings with poor access to laboratory infrastructure. Full article
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Research

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Article
Improving Access to Diagnostics for Schistosomiasis Case Management in Oyo State, Nigeria: Barriers and Opportunities
Diagnostics 2020, 10(5), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10050328 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Schistosomiasis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases that affects over 200 million people worldwide, of which 29 million people in Nigeria. The principal strategy for schistosomiasis in Nigeria is a control and elimination program which comprises a school-based Mass Drug Administration (MDA) [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases that affects over 200 million people worldwide, of which 29 million people in Nigeria. The principal strategy for schistosomiasis in Nigeria is a control and elimination program which comprises a school-based Mass Drug Administration (MDA) with limitations of high re-infection rates and the exclusion of high-risk populations. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends guided case management of schistosomiasis (diagnostic tests or symptom-based detection plus treatment) at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level to ensure more comprehensive morbidity control. However, these require experienced personnel with sufficient knowledge of symptoms and functioning laboratory equipment. Little is known about where, by whom and how diagnosis is performed at health facilities within the case management of schistosomiasis in Nigeria. Furthermore, there is a paucity of information on patients’ health-seeking behaviour from the onset of disease symptoms until a cure is obtained. In this study, we describe both perspectives in Oyo state, Nigeria and address the barriers using adapted health-seeking stages and access framework. The opportunities for improving case management were identified, such as a prevalence study of high-risk groups, community education and screening, enhancing diagnostic capacity at the PHC through point-of-care diagnostics and strengthening the capability of health workers. Full article
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Article
Geographical Accessibility to Glucose-6-Phosphate Dioxygenase Deficiency Point-of-Care Testing for Antenatal Care in Ghana
Diagnostics 2020, 10(4), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10040229 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2763
Abstract
Background: Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency screening test is essential for malaria treatment, control, and elimination programs. G6PD deficient individuals are at high risk of severe hemolysis when given anti-malarial drugs such as primaquine, quinine, other sulphonamide-containing medicines, and chloroquine, which has recently been [...] Read more.
Background: Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency screening test is essential for malaria treatment, control, and elimination programs. G6PD deficient individuals are at high risk of severe hemolysis when given anti-malarial drugs such as primaquine, quinine, other sulphonamide-containing medicines, and chloroquine, which has recently been shown to be potent for the treatment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We evaluated the geographical accessibility to POC testing for G6PD deficiency in Ghana, a malaria-endemic country. Methods: We obtained the geographic information of 100 randomly sampled clinics previously included in a cross-sectional survey. We also obtained the geolocated data of all public hospitals providing G6PD deficiency testing services in the region. Using ArcGIS 10.5, we quantified geographical access to G6PD deficiency screening test and identified clinics as well as visualize locations with poor access for targeted improvement. The travel time was estimated using an assumed speed of 20 km per hour. Findings: Of the 100 clinics, 58% were Community-based Health Planning and Services facilities, and 42% were sub-district health centers. The majority (92%) were Ghana Health Service facilities, and the remaining 8% were Christian Health Association of Ghana facilities. Access to G6PD deficiency screening test was varied across the districts, and G6PD deficiency screening test was available in all eight public hospitals. This implies that the health facility-to-population ratio for G6PD deficiency testing service was approximately 1:159,210 (8/1,273,677) population. The spatial analysis quantified the current mean distance to a G6PD deficiency testing service from all locations in the region to be 34 ± 14 km, and travel time (68 ± 27 min). The estimated mean distance from a clinic to a district hospital for G6PD deficiency testing services was 15 ± 11 km, and travel time (46 ± 33 min). Conclusion: Access to POC testing for G6PD deficiency in Ghana was poor. Given the challenges associated with G6PD deficiency, it would be essential to improve access to G6PD deficiency POC testing to facilitate administration of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine to pregnant women, full implementation of the malaria control program in Ghana, and treatment of COVID-19 patients with chloroquine in malaria-endemic countries. To enable the World Health Organization include appropriate G6PD POC diagnostic tests in its list of essential in-vitro diagnostics for use in resource-limited settings, we recommend a wider evaluation of available POC diagnostic tests for G6PD deficiency, particularly in malaria-endemic countries. Full article
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Article
Stakeholders’ Perspectives for the Development of a Point-of-Care Diagnostics Curriculum in Rural Primary Clinics in South Africa—Nominal Group Technique
Diagnostics 2020, 10(4), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10040195 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Poor knowledge and adherence to point-of-care (POC) HIV testing standards have been reported in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a high HIV prevalent setting. Improving compliance to HIV testing standards is critical, particularly during the gradual phasing out of lay counsellor providers and the shifting [...] Read more.
Poor knowledge and adherence to point-of-care (POC) HIV testing standards have been reported in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a high HIV prevalent setting. Improving compliance to HIV testing standards is critical, particularly during the gradual phasing out of lay counsellor providers and the shifting of HIV testing and counselling duties to professional nurses. The main objective of this study was to identify priority areas for development of POC diagnostics curriculum to improve competence and adherence to POC diagnostics quality standards for primary healthcare (PHC) nurses in rural South Africa. Method: PHC clinic stakeholders were invited to participate in a co-creation workshop. Participants were purposely sampled from each of the 11 KwaZulu-Natal Districts. Through the Nominal Group Technique (NGT), participants identified training related challenges concerning delivery of quality point of care diagnostics and ranked them from highest to lowest priority. An importance ranking score (scale 1–5) was calculated for each of the identified challenges. Results: Study participants included three PHC professional nurses, one TB professional nurse, one HIV lay councilor, one TB assistant and three POC diagnostics researchers, aged 23–50. Participants identified ten POC diagnostics related challenges. Amongst the highest ranked challenges were the following:absence of POC testing Curriculum for nurses, absence of training of staff on HIV testing and counselling as lay counsellor providers are gradually being phased out,. absence of Continuous Professional Development opportunities and lack of Staff involvement in POC Management programs. Conclusion: Key stakeholders perceived training of PHC nurses as the highest priority for the delivery of quality POC diagnostic testing at PHC level. We recommend continual collaboration among all POC diagnostics stakeholders in the development of an accessible curriculum to improve providers’ competence and ensure sustainable quality delivery of POC diagnostic services in rural PHC clinics. Full article
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Article
Key Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Implementation and Scale up of HIV Self-Testing in Rwanda
Diagnostics 2020, 10(4), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10040194 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Introduction: The World Health Organisation recommends HIV self-testing as an alternative testing method to help reach underserved populations, such as men in sub-Saharan Africa. Successful implementation and scale-up of HIV self-testing (HIVST) in Rwanda relies heavily on relevant stakeholders’ involvement. We sought to [...] Read more.
Introduction: The World Health Organisation recommends HIV self-testing as an alternative testing method to help reach underserved populations, such as men in sub-Saharan Africa. Successful implementation and scale-up of HIV self-testing (HIVST) in Rwanda relies heavily on relevant stakeholders’ involvement. We sought to explore HIVST key stakeholders’ perceptions of the implementation and scale-up of HIVST in Rwanda. Method: We conducted in-depth interviews with personnel involved in HIV response projects in Rwanda between September and November 2019. We purposively sampled and interviewed 13 national-level key stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, Rwanda Biomedical Center, non-governmental organizations and HIV clinics at tertiary health facilities in Kigali. We used a thematic approach to analysis with a coding framework guided by Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (intervention characteristics, inner setting, outer setting, characteristics of individuals involved in the implementation and the implementation process). Results: Key stakeholders perceived HIVST as a potentially effective initiative, which can be used in order to ensure that there is an improvement in uptake of testing services, especially for underserved populations in Rwanda. The following challenges for implementation and scale-up of HIVST were revealed: lack of awareness of the kits, high cost of the self-test kits, and concerns on results interpretation. Key stakeholders identified the following as prerequisites to the successful implementation and scale-up of HIVST in Rwanda; creation of awareness, training those involved in the implementation process, regulation of the selling of the self-test kits, reduction of the costs of acquiring the self-test kits through the provision of subsidies, and ensuring consistent availability of the self-test kits. Conclusions: Key stakeholders expressed confidence in HIVST’s ability to improve the uptake of HIV testing services. However, they reported challenges, which need to be addressed to ensure successful implementation and scale-up of the HIVST. There is a need for further research incorporating lower level stakeholders to fully understand HIVST implementation and scale-up challenges and strategies to inform policy. Full article
Article
Assessment of the Impact of Rapid Point-of-Care CD4 Testing in Primary Healthcare Clinic Settings: A Survey Study of Client and Provider Perspectives
Diagnostics 2020, 10(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10020081 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
Background: The high burden of disease in South Africa presents challenges to public health services. Point-of-care (POC) technologies have the potential to address these gaps and improve healthcare systems. This study ascertained the acceptability and impact of POC CD4 testing on patients’ health [...] Read more.
Background: The high burden of disease in South Africa presents challenges to public health services. Point-of-care (POC) technologies have the potential to address these gaps and improve healthcare systems. This study ascertained the acceptability and impact of POC CD4 testing on patients’ health and clinical management. Methods: We conducted a qualitative survey study with patients (n = 642) and healthcare providers (n = 13) at the Lancers Road (experienced POC) and Chesterville (non-experienced POC) primary healthcare (PHC) clinics from September 2015 to June 2016. Results: Patients (99%) at Lancers and Chesterville PHCs were positive about POC CD4 testing, identifying benefits: No loss/delay of test results (6.4%), cost/time saving (19.5%), and no anxiety (5.1%), and 58.2% were ready to initiate treatment. Significantly more patients at Chesterville than Lancers Road PHC felt POC would provide rapid clinical decision making (64.7% vs. 48.1%; p < 0.0001) and better clinic accessibility (40.4% vs. 24.7%; p < 0.0001) respectively. Healthcare providers thought same-day CD4 results would impact: Clinical management (46.2%), patient readiness (46.2%), and adherence (23.0%), and would reduce follow-up visits (7.7%), while 38.5% were concerned that further tests and training (15.4%) were required before antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. Conclusion: The high acceptability of POC CD4 testing and the immediate health, structural, and clinical management benefits necessitates POC implementation studies. Full article
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Article
Impact of Implementing Antenatal Syphilis Point-of-Care Testing on Maternal Mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis
Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040218 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Background: Syphilis infection has been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection during pregnancy which poses greater risk for maternal mortality, and antenatal syphilis point-of-care (POC) testing has been introduced to improve maternal and child health outcomes. There is limited evidence on [...] Read more.
Background: Syphilis infection has been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection during pregnancy which poses greater risk for maternal mortality, and antenatal syphilis point-of-care (POC) testing has been introduced to improve maternal and child health outcomes. There is limited evidence on the impact of syphilis POC testing on maternal outcomes in high HIV prevalent settings. We used syphilis POC testing as a model to evaluate the impact of POC diagnostics on the improvement of maternal mortality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Methods: We extracted 132 monthly data points on the number of maternal deaths in facilities and number of live births in facilities for 12 tertiary healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa from 2004 to 2014 from District Health Information System (DHIS) health facility archived. We employed segmented Poisson regression analysis of interrupted time series to assess the impact of the exposure on maternal mortality ratio (MMR) before and after the implementation of antenatal syphilis POC testing. We processed and analyzed data using Stata Statistical Software: Release 13. (Stata, Corp LP, College Station, TX, USA). Results: The provincial average annual maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was estimated at 176.09 ± 43.92 ranging from a minimum of 68.48 to maximum of 225.49 per 100,000 live births. The data comprised 36 temporal points before the introduction of syphilis POC test exposure and 84 after the introduction in primary health care clinics in KZN. The average annual MMR for KZN from 2004 to 2014 was estimated at 176.09 ± 43.92. A decrease in MMR level was observed during 2008 after syphilis POC test implementation, followed by a rise during 2009. Analysis of the MMR trend estimates a significant 1.5% increase in MMR trends during the period before implementation and 1.3% increase after implementation of syphilis POC testing (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Although our finding suggests a brief reduction in the MMR trend after the implementation of antenatal syphilis POC testing, a continued increase in syphilis rates is seen in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study used one of the most powerful quasi-experimental research methods, segmented Poisson regression analysis of interrupted time series to model the impact of syphilis POC on maternal outcome. The study finding requires confirmation by use of more rigorous primary study design. Full article
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Article
Feasibility Evaluation of Commercially Available Video Conferencing Devices to Technically Direct Untrained Nonmedical Personnel to Perform a Rapid Trauma Ultrasound Examination
Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040188 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a rapidly expanding discipline that has proven to be a valuable modality in the hospital setting. Recent evidence has demonstrated the utility of commercially available video conferencing technologies, namely, FaceTime (Apple Inc, Cupertino, CA, USA) and Google Glass [...] Read more.
Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a rapidly expanding discipline that has proven to be a valuable modality in the hospital setting. Recent evidence has demonstrated the utility of commercially available video conferencing technologies, namely, FaceTime (Apple Inc, Cupertino, CA, USA) and Google Glass (Google Inc, Mountain View, CA, USA), to allow an expert POCUS examiner to remotely guide a novice medical professional. However, few studies have evaluated the ability to use these teleultrasound technologies to guide a nonmedical novice to perform an acute care POCUS examination for cardiac, pulmonary, and abdominal assessments. Additionally, few studies have shown the ability of a POCUS-trained cardiac anesthesiologist to perform the role of an expert instructor. This study sought to evaluate the ability of a POCUS-trained anesthesiologist to remotely guide a nonmedically trained participant to perform an acute care POCUS examination. Methods: A total of 21 nonmedically trained undergraduate students who had no prior ultrasound experience were recruited to perform a three-part ultrasound examination on a standardized patient with the guidance of a remote expert who was a POCUS-trained cardiac anesthesiologist. The examination included the following acute care POCUS topics: (1) cardiac function via parasternal long/short axis views, (2) pneumothorax assessment via pleural sliding exam via anterior lung views, and (3) abdominal free fluid exam via right upper quadrant abdominal view. Each examiner was given a handout with static images of probe placement and actual ultrasound images for the three views. After a brief 8 min tutorial on the teleultrasound technologies, a connection was established with the expert, and they were guided through the acute care POCUS exam. Each view was deemed to be complete when the expert sonographer was satisfied with the obtained image or if the expert sonographer determined that the image could not be obtained after 5 min. Image quality was scored on a previously validated 0 to 4 grading scale. The entire session was recorded, and the image quality was scored during the exam by the remote expert instructor as well as by a separate POCUS-trained, blinded expert anesthesiologist. Results: A total of 21 subjects completed the study. The average total time for the exam was 8.5 min (standard deviation = 4.6). A comparison between the live expert examiner and the blinded postexam reviewer showed a 100% agreement between image interpretations. A review of the exams rated as three or higher demonstrated that 87% of abdominal, 90% of cardiac, and 95% of pulmonary exams achieved this level of image quality. A satisfaction survey of the novice users demonstrated higher ease of following commands for the cardiac and pulmonary exams compared to the abdominal exam. Conclusions: The results from this pilot study demonstrate that nonmedically trained individuals can be guided to complete a relevant ultrasound examination within a short period. Further evaluation of using telemedicine technologies to promote POCUS should be evaluated. Full article
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Article
Estimating the Spatial Accessibility to Blood Group and Rhesus Type Point-of-Care Testing for Maternal Healthcare in Ghana
Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040175 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1901
Abstract
Background: In Ghana, a blood group and rhesus type test is one of the essential recommended screening tests for women during antenatal care since blood transfusion is a key intervention for haemorrhage. We estimated the spatial accessibility to health facilities for blood group [...] Read more.
Background: In Ghana, a blood group and rhesus type test is one of the essential recommended screening tests for women during antenatal care since blood transfusion is a key intervention for haemorrhage. We estimated the spatial accessibility to health facilities for blood group and type point-of-care (POC) testing in the Upper East Region (UER), Ghana. Methods: We assembled the attributes and spatial data of hospitals, clinics, and medical laboratories providing blood group and rhesus type POC testing in the UER. We also obtained the spatial data of all the 131 towns, and 94 health centres and community-based health planning and services (CHPS) compounds providing maternal healthcare in the region. We further obtained the topographical data of the region, and travel time estimated using an assumed tricycle speed of 20 km/h. We employed ArcGIS 10.5 to estimate the distance and travel time and locations with poor spatial access identified for priority improvement. Findings: In all, blood group and rhesus type POC testing was available in 18 health facilities comprising eight public hospitals and six health centres, one private hospital, and three medical laboratories used as referral points by neighbouring health centres and CHPS compounds without the service. Of the 94 health centres and CHPS compounds, 51.1% (48/94) and 66.4% (87/131) of the towns were within a 10 km range to a facility providing blood group and rhesus type testing service. The estimated mean distance to a health facility for blood group and rhesus POC testing was 8.9 ± 4.1 km, whilst the mean travel time was 17.8 ± 8.3 min. Builsa South district recorded the longest mean distance (25.6 ± 7.4 km), whilst Bongo district recorded the shortest (3.1 ± 1.9 km). The spatial autocorrelation results showed the health facilities providing blood group and rhesus type POC testing were randomly distributed in the region (Moran Index = 0.29; z-score = 1.37; p = 0.17). Conclusion: This study enabled the identification of district variations in spatial accessibility to blood group and rhesus type POC testing in the region for policy decisions. We urge the health authorities in Ghana to evaluate and implement recommended POC tests such as slide agglutination tests for blood group and rhesus type testing in resource-limited settings. Full article
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Article
Stakeholder Perceptions of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Implementation in Resource-Limited Settings
Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040153 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Background: Nearly half of the world lacks access to diagnostic imaging. Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) is a versatile and relatively affordable imaging modality that offers promise as a means of bridging the radiology gap and improving care in low resource settings. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Nearly half of the world lacks access to diagnostic imaging. Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) is a versatile and relatively affordable imaging modality that offers promise as a means of bridging the radiology gap and improving care in low resource settings. Methods: We performed semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders at two diverse hospitals where POCUS implementation programs had recently been conducted: one in a rural private hospital in Haiti and the other in a public referral hospital in Malawi. Questions regarding the clinical utility of POCUS, as well as barriers and facilitators of its implementation, were asked of study participants. Using the Framework Method, analysis of interview transcripts was guided by the WHO ASSURED criteria for point of care diagnostics. Results: Fifteen stakeholders with diverse roles in POCUS implementation were interviewed. Interviewees from both sites considered POCUS a valuable diagnostic tool that improved clinical decisions. They perceived barriers to adequate training as one of the most important remaining barriers to POCUS implementation. Conclusions: In spite of the increasing affordability and portability of ultrasounds devices, there are still important barriers to the implementation of POCUS in resource-limited settings. Full article

Review

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Review
Electronic Health Information Systems to Improve Disease Diagnosis and Management at Point-of-Care in Low and Middle Income Countries: A Narrative Review
Diagnostics 2020, 10(5), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10050327 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1986
Abstract
The purpose of an electronic health information system (EHIS) is to support health care workers in providing health care services to an individual client and to enable data exchange among service providers. The demand to explore the use of EHIS for diagnosis and [...] Read more.
The purpose of an electronic health information system (EHIS) is to support health care workers in providing health care services to an individual client and to enable data exchange among service providers. The demand to explore the use of EHIS for diagnosis and management of communicable and non-communicable diseases has increased dramatically due to the volume of patient data and the need to retain patients in care. In addition, the advent of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in high disease burdened low and middle income countries (LMICs) has increased the need for robust EHIS to enable efficient surveillance of the pandemic. EHIS has potential to enable efficient delivery of disease diagnostics services at point-of-care (POC) and reduce medical errors. This review provides an overview of literature on EHIS’s with a focus on describing the key components of EHIS and presenting evidence on enablers and barriers to implementation of EHISs in LMICs. With guidance from the presented evidence, we proposed EHIS key stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities to ensure efficient utility of EHIS for disease diagnosis and management at POC in LMICs. Full article
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Other

Case Report
Use of a Smartphone-Based Augmented Reality Video Conference App to Remotely Guide a Point of Care Ultrasound Examination
Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040159 - 24 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
Reports on the use of various smartphone-based video conference applications to guide point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) examinations in resource-limited settings have been described. However, the use of an augmented reality-enabled smartphone video conference application in this same manner has not been described. Presented is [...] Read more.
Reports on the use of various smartphone-based video conference applications to guide point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) examinations in resource-limited settings have been described. However, the use of an augmented reality-enabled smartphone video conference application in this same manner has not been described. Presented is a case in which such as application was used to remotely guide a point of care ultrasound examination. Full article
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