诊断学和全球健康

科瓦利斯,俄勒冈州—在发达国家,大部分人认为得病时获得及时诊断和治疗乃是理所应当之事。事实上,尽管诊断过程——通常情况下包括递交血液、尿液或组织样本进行实验室分析——可能繁琐而昂贵,医疗提供者和高精尖实验室往往门可罗雀。因此,发达国家的疾病负担可以大大下降。

相反,在发展中世界,每年有数百万人死于疟疾等可治疾病,原因是缺乏先进实验室和其他诊断测试。但希望仍在:微流控领域的进步有望通过允许基于实验室的检测这一“金本位”变为“床旁检测”(point of care,POC)改变医疗。

提供及时准确结果的床旁检测可以为得不到充分服务的人群提供诊断,让他们更早得到治疗并避免误治(当成另一种症状相似的疾病来治)。但是,为了实现这一潜力,床旁检测必须考虑影响医疗应用的诸多影响因素。

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