FIND shares the goals of the global health community to fight diseases that impact the poorest populations in the world. We do this through a focus on diagnostic solutions. Knowing what is wrong with a patient is fundamental to all efforts to improve world health. We recognize that in order to capture the investments that the global community has made thus far to fight diseases of poverty, key diagnostic gaps must be filled. This strategic document aims to describe our thinking on how we can best fill these gaps over the coming five years and address post-Millennium Development goals.
Identify needed diagnostic solutions and remove barriers to their development.
- Lead dynamic needs definition: work closely with end-users, WHO, other global policy groups, researchers, country partners and implementers to determine desired features and characteristics of needed tools (target product profiles)
- Support program for manufacturers: pair manufacturers who have promising technologies with R&D and market entry experts through our Support for Success programme
- Scout for technology: identify technologies and manufacturers that have the potential to meet needs defined in target product profiles
- Match-make: broker or form the best partnerships to initiate product development around target product profiles
- Provide specimen banks and platforms for feasibility studies: leverage dynamic relationships with country research sites and existing know-how to provide high quality reference materials to manufacturers that can accelerate biomarker discovery and product development and enable rapid assessment of product feasibility
Guide use & policy
Lead products through the clinical trails pathway to global policy on use and market entry.
- Define evidence needs: work closely with WHO and implementing country governments to establish the type of data that will be needed for decision-making on new technologies
- Lead clinical trials aligned with policy and regulatory needs: as a WHO Collaborating Center, leverage country partnerships to design and conduct clinical trials that meet the requirements of regulators and policy makers in the most efficient way possible
- Support development of WHO guidelines: package evidence from clinical trials to facilitate policy decisions and support WHO in the creation of detailed guidelines, such as for quality assurance processes, and standard operating procedures
Support uptake and appropriate use of diagnostics to achieve health impact.
- Facilitate national policy decisions: share and, if needed, generate evidence to support country policy making on the use of new diagnostic solutions rapidly and without redundant evaluation
- Support the development and execution of rollout plans: work with national disease programmes and implementing partners to develop detailed country plans for the rollout of new diagnostic solutions (the elements of such a plan may included an update diagnostic flow, plan for laboratory strengthening, and a clearly articulated approach to training, supply chain and logistics, quality assurance, impact measurement, data information management, and linkage to care)
- Support ministries of health to identify gaps and deploy solutions: work hand-in-hand with governments and implementers to troubleshoot implementation, coordinate country-specific solutions, and deploy external experts where needed
Shape the agenda
Improve understanding of the value of diagnostics and strengthen commitment to their funding and use.
- Measure and communicate the impact of diagnostics by building on our modelling and impact measurement capabilities and disseminating the outcomes, put diagnostics on global health agendas
- Lead global discussion on emerging diagnostics topics by convening stakeholders and sparking debate about the latest issues, advance discussions on the role of diagnostics in health systems
- Create market opportunities by working with global health funders to design strategies to turn market failures into opportunities and successes
ELEMENTS OF A COMPLETE DIAGNOSTIC SOLUTION
To execute our strategy, we do not only focus on individual diagnostic technologies but support complete diagnostic solutions. In order to transform a tool into a solution that has impact, more attention needs to be given to the accompanying “package”. This comprises a diagnostic test that is just right for the need, together with a suite of elements that eases the way to improved access and use in a weak health system infrastructure.
Such a package simplifies diagnosis for patients, users, clinicians and countries, and includes tools for implementers, among them those for training, advocacy, installation, quality assurance, support and maintenance, impact measurement , and an information technology solution that links results to patient care and surveillance programmes.