Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Sociology, Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites
Journal or Book Title
Reducing the global diseases burden requires effective diagnosis and treatment. In the developing world, accurate diagnosis can be the most expensive and time-consuming aspect of health care. Healthcare cost can, however, be reduced by use of affordable rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). In the developed world, low-cost RDTs are being developed in many research laboratories; however, they are not being equally adopted in the developing countries. This disconnect points to a gap in the design philosophy, where parameterization of design variables ignores the most critical component of the system, the point-of-use stakeholders (e.g., doctors, nurses and patients). Herein, we demonstrated that a general focus on reducing cost (i.e., “low-cost”), rather than efficiency and reliability is misguided by the assumption that poverty reduces the value individuals place on their well-being. A case study of clinicians in Kenya showed that “zero-cost” is a low-weight parameter for point-of-use stakeholders, while reliability and standardization are crucial. We therefore argue that a user-driven, value-addition systems-engineering approach is needed for the design of RDTs to enhance adoption and translation into the field.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Kimani, Faith W.; Mwangi, Samuel M.; Kwasa, Benjamin J.; Kusow, Abdi M.; Ngugi, Benjamin K.; Chen, Jiahao; Liu, Xinyu; Cademartiri, Rebecca; and Thuo, Martin M., "Rethinking the Design of Low-Cost Point-of-Care Diagnostic Devices" (2017). Materials Science and Engineering Publications. 289.