Diagnostic network design and optimization

We take a network analytics approach to design patient-centred and cost-efficient diagnostic systems.

Designing optimal diagnostic systems is complex and highly context-dependent, relying on multiple data inputs and assumptions.

Important variations in epidemiology, geography and health systems – often within the same country – must also be accounted for, as well as budgetary considerations. Diagnostic network optimization takes a geospatial network analytics approach, used in many manufacturing industries, to improve patient access to services in the most cost-efficient way.

Using data to inform instrument placement, sample transportation, referral mechanisms, staffing, and geographical prioritization, diagnostic access can be increased for those most in need, while also ensuring cost efficiency and feasibility. Data can also inform integration of diagnostic tools and services (such as testing for COVID-19 using molecular diagnostics already in place for TB), to provide patient-centred services and resource allocation across heath sectors and programmes.

Together with other approaches to support countries to identify gaps and develop tailored interventions, such as patient pathway analysis and structured assessments, diagnostic network optimization can help target the right mix of diagnostic solutions to where they are needed most, at costs sustainable for health systems, and is able to rapidly adapt to emerging threats.

Our focus is on helping countries to build and maintain comprehensive, integrated digital network models that are coordinated and owned by Ministries of Health and used by all partners, with common standards for data collection, reporting and data management.

Heidi Albert

Principal Scientist

ASLM DNO Sub-community of Practice

The ASLM DNO SubCoP gathers country teams and stakeholders who share challenges, solutions and best practices for optimizing their diagnostic network.

OptiDx

OptiDx is a web-based, open-access tool to conduct diagnostic network optimization and route optimization analysis, for any disease. It enables countries to design diagnostic networks that align with national health goals and supports efforts towards universal health coverage.

Guide to diagnostic network optimization

This document includes a description of the concepts of DNO, the process to conduct a DNO analysis, data requirements, software solutions for conducting DNO and how outputs from DNO analyses can be used to inform decision-making.

Online training on diagnostic network optimization

This course has completed but will be running again soon. Please contact us to be notified when the next session is scheduled.