Medical devices and diagnostics for cardiovascular diseases in low-resource settings

J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2014 Nov;7(8):737-48. doi: 10.1007/s12265-014-9591-3. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, have emerged as an underappreciated health threat with enormous economic and public health implications for populations in low-resource settings. In order to address these diseases, devices that are to be used in low-resource settings have to conform to requirements that are generally more challenging than those developed for traditional markets. Characteristics and issues that must be considered when working in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) include challenging environmental conditions, a complex supply chain, sometimes inadequate operator training, and cost. Somewhat counterintuitively, devices for low-resource setting (LRS) markets need to be of at least as high quality and reliability as those for developed countries to be setting-appropriate and achieve impact. Finally, the devices need to be designed and tested for the populations in which they are to be used in order to achieve the performance that is needed. In this review, we focus on technologies for primary and secondary health-care settings and group them according to the continuum of care from prevention to treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology / economics*
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / economics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / economics*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Developing Countries / economics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Cardiovascular / economics*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Cardiovascular / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Resources / economics*
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / economics
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests