What are Diagnostics Connectivity Solutions?
Diagnostics connectivity solutions help countries make optimal use of the electronic data produced by certain diagnostic instruments. The connectivity solutions automatically send data to a server (in-country or cloud) and a software platform for a variety of purposes:
- Instant and accurate transmission of patient results directly to clinicians via mobile data, SMS or email, as well as to laboratory information management systems or electronic registers
- Real-time remote monitoring of equipment operational performance and inventory management using online dashboards
- Real-time surveillance of disease and resistance patterns using online dashboards
The 2016 WHO Framework of indicators and targets for laboratory strengthening under the End TB Strategy includes a specific indicator and target for national TB programmes related to implementation of diagnostics connectivity systems (indicator 4): by 2020, all countries should have connectivity systems established that transmit data from all testing sites using rapid diagnostics which produce electronic data.
The Digital Health Technology Hub initiative seeks to accelerate uptake of connectivity solutions and ensure countries make best use of data accessed through these solutions to strengthen TB diagnostic networks and for the benefit of people with TB.
The Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI), a Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership, developed a Quick Guide to TB Diagnostics Connectivity Solutions to provide an overview of how connectivity solutions can benefit countries and what is needed to adopt one, including software, hardware and internet connectivity needs, and considerations around hosting options, data ownership and security, and budgeting.
The introducing New Tools Project (iNTP) is supporting strengthening and scale-up of diagnostics connectivity solutions in 5 countries.
To inform implementers Stop TB collects information on existing commercial diagnostics connectivity solutions to help country programmes and partners make informed decisions about selection of products.
See the Stop TB comparison of two available diagnostics connectivity solutions: