Using electronic readers to monitor progress toward elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis: An opinion piece

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015 Jun;130 Suppl 1:S81-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 Apr 29.


Electronic readers and smartphones have the potential to standardize the interpretation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and provide timely surveillance program data. RDTs are widely used for HIV and are being increasingly used for syphilis screening in pregnant women. Following the WHO initiative for the validation of elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, there is a need for more extensive testing and data monitoring. However, access to timely and accurate data can be challenging once testing is decentralized as data quality at remote sites is often difficult to verify. Electronic RDT readers can help to ensure quality and allow automated data transmission, creating an opportunity for real-time surveillance to inform control strategies and assess intervention impact. Furthermore, by linking the data to existing supply chain management software, stockouts can be minimized. The present opinion piece looks at the opportunities and challenges of using these tools within national elimination programs.

Keywords: Connectivity; Dual elimination of HIV and syphilis; Electronic readers; Surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Data Accuracy
  • Disease Eradication / methods
  • Electronic Data Processing / methods*
  • Electronic Data Processing / standards
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods
  • Syphilis / transmission*