On September 26, 2014, UNITAID released its 2014 Tuberculosis Diagnostics Technology and Market Landscape report (6 MB PDF), co-authored by PATH scientist Dr. David Boyle. The report, now in its third edition, reviews the pipeline of technologies and products that are used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB). It is designed to be used by donors, ministries of health, academics, and developers to inform them on the progressing development of tools that can meet the health need and market demand for TB diagnostics.
"The third edition of the UNITAID Tuberculosis Diagnostics Technology and Market Landscape report provides an excellent and comprehensive overview of the current robust TB diagnostic pipeline," said Dr. Christopher Gilpin, Global Laboratory Initiative Secretariat, World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Program. He continued, "Rigorous field evaluations of these technologies in the intended settings of use are now urgently needed to support the WHO policy process for review of the best-performing technologies."
Rapid, accurate diagnosis of TB is critical for ensuring timely treatment and preventing further spread of the disease within communities. In 2012, more than one third of all TB cases were not diagnosed or reported to national health programs–an estimated 3 million missed cases. Part of the reason for this is that many people do not have access to diagnostic tools that can rapidly detect TB.
While many of the tools detailed in this report are already in use, others in the late development stage are designed specifically for low-resource settings where PATH's work has the greatest health impact. Simple, small, and robust tools that run on battery power can help close the gap on diagnosing TB. This report outlines the market opportunity and the promising landscape for these improved and emerging diagnostic technologies.
The PATH diagnostics team uses its technical and market experience for several landscape reports every year. This report was a joint effort between Boyle and Dr. Madhukar Pai from McGill University, Montreal, with technical input from the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Geneva, and UNITAID. Funding for the project was provided by UNITAID.