Emerging technologies in point-of-care molecular diagnostics for resource-limited settings

Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2014 Jun;14(5):525-34. doi: 10.1586/14737159.2014.915748. Epub 2014 May 2.


Emerging molecular technologies to diagnose infectious diseases at the point at which care is delivered have the potential to save many lives in developing countries where access to laboratories is poor. Molecular tests are needed to improve the specificity of syndromic management, monitor progress towards disease elimination and screen for asymptomatic infections with the goal of interrupting disease transmission and preventing long-term sequelae. In simplifying laboratory-based molecular assays for use at point-of-care, there are inevitable compromises between cost, ease of use and test performance. Despite significant technological advances, many challenges remain for the development of molecular diagnostics for resource-limited settings. There needs to be more advocacy for these technologies to be applied to infectious diseases, increased efforts to lower the barriers to market entry through streamlined and harmonized regulatory approaches, faster policy development for adoption of new technologies and novel financing mechanisms to enable countries to scale up implementation.

Keywords: in vitro diagnostics; infectious diseases; molecular diagnosis; point-of-care; resource-limited settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / economics
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Point-of-Care Systems*