The Role of Diagnostics

  • Make a difference in the lives of patients

  • Inform disease status

  • Guide medical intervention

  • Lead to improved health outcomes

Along with therapeutics and vaccines, diagnostics make up the critical and often overlooked “third imperative” for reducing disease burden. With better diagnostics come more accurate disease identification, more appropriate treatments and lower cost. In many areas of the world, however, some of the most treatable diseases and conditions remain health burdens due to a lack of appropriate or available diagnostics.

In the past half-century, diagnostic innovations have helped transform the practice of medicine, predominantly in the Western World. More recently, advances in instrumentation, coupled with a deeper understanding of human and pathogen biology and advances in nucleic acid diagnostics, proteomics, metabolomics and genomics have enabled the development of new generations of diagnostic tests. This new generation of technologies is revolutionizing healthcare, informing disease status and guiding medical intervention. Looking forward, the role diagnostics can play in healthcare will be expanded further through the incorporation of cellular and other mobile technologies. Collectively, these advances will bring improved connectivity and access to health care practitioners and data, resulting in improvements in health outcomes and enhanced quality of life for patients.

While the advantages of diagnostic products and systems are commonly relied upon in more developed countries, these technologies often do not work well in less developed countries where electricity is uncertain, climate control difficult and specialty-trained staff a rarity. These limitations have caused a significant gap in healthcare leading to increased disease incidence, prevalence and mortality due to life-threatening infectious diseases and chronic conditions. Catalysis aims to alleviate these gaps by driving the use of diagnostics as a critical component of healthcare delivery in the developing world.