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On November 15, 2022, Idaho professional Craig Mosman, VP of Business Development for Seek Labs, a Utah-based biotechnology company, spoke on trends in global health at Medica 2022. Continue reading for a summary of the key points that were mentioned.

“Technology is evolving to permit healthcare to become more patient-driven. The first key driver is simplifying testing to permit diagnostic tests to be reliably done by people with no medical training at home. That involves simplicity in the collection of a sample, no or very little processing of a sample, fast and simple analysis, and the potential for immediate and secure communication of the result to the user and, if necessary, to a healthcare professional.

A simplified testing system with secure reporting serves to uncouple healthcare from a doctor’s office. It empowers individuals with decisions for their own medical health and democratizes healthcare. It also makes healthcare more responsive and efficient. Instead of a patient going to a doctor’s office, waiting, having tests taken, and returning a few days or weeks later for a result and commencing treatment, a person can take a test at home, communicate the results and immediately begin treatment.

Democratizing healthcare is efficient and convenient in the developed world. In many places in the world, with developing economies and infrastructure, it is a matter of life and death. For many, the idea of coming to the clinic, being tested, and returning days later to hear a result and commence treatment isn’t possible. 

As we have learned in Covid-19, rapid diagnosis and treatment of diseases are also crucial in curbing the spread of infectious diseases. One of the areas where the global healthcare system failed in responding to Covid-19, and before that the Zika pandemic, and before that the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and before that SARS in 2003, was the failure to have systems in place to have testing systems in place to test for, and identify infectious disease.  

The elements of such a system have been in place for years. Think glucose monitoring with a glucometer. Here at Medica 2022, there are dozens of companies, including Seek Labs, with systems that can provide accurate, portable testing to prevent an outbreak. That same system provides accurate diagnosis for disease in resource-poor areas and testing for disease in the home. The technology is present; the question is will we learn from this latest pandemic any better than we have in the past?”