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Investigating the Design and Use of Diagnostic Devices in Global Health

Investigating the Design and Use of Diagnostic Devices in Global Health

Objective

Many people living in resource-poor settings have never had access to the laboratory facilities or technical expertise that are needed to diagnose diseases. With the development and deployment of a new generation of affordable, easy-to-use, and portable diagnostic devices that are designed for places with no laboratory infrastructure, the global landscape of diagnosis is dramatically changing. Can portable diagnostic devices strengthen health systems in resource-poor settings? DiaDev is the first study to comprehensively address this question through comparison across multiple devices, sites of production, and contexts of use. Diagnostic technologies are often championed as universal solutions to health equity and access. This ethnographic study investigates the extent to which how diagnostic devices work and what they can achieve depends on the locally specific relationships through which they are designed and used. Five ethnographic case studies from the USA, India and Sierra Leone examine the partnerships between donors, governments, humanitarian organisations and users that characterise current models of technological innovation and implementation in global health, the processes by which diagnostic devices are integrated with health infrastructures in target settings, and the practices of knowledge production and use they entail. The ultimate aim is to generate new insight into (i) changing relationships of power between governments, donors, and business in global health, and (ii) the ways in which diagnostic devices are transforming health systems in resource-poor settings. It will produce a new context-specific and comparative framework for exploring the opportunities and challenges involved in the design and use of diagnostic devices. Through innovative collaborative methods it will also develop a set of ‘health system strengthening tools’ that will enable stakeholders to improve the design and use of these devices in dialogue with the project findings.
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Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

Address

Old College, South Bridge
Eh8 9yl Edinburgh

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 246 804,41

Beneficiaries (3)

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THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 246 804,41

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 149 744,11

PUBLIC HEALTH FOUNDATION OF INDIA

India

EU Contribution

€ 83 009,48

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 715450

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2017

  • End date

    30 April 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 479 558

  • EU contribution

    € 1 479 558

Hosted by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

United Kingdom