It is believed that an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally, with approximately 68% of new cases located in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is a worrying fact that the majority of those affected do not have access to appropriate prevention, care nor treatment, and even more disturbing is the fact that approximately half of those HIV sufferers are unaware they are infected at all.
“mHealth smartphone applications, such as those offered by Novarum, are poised to become an essential foundation in the bridge to augment the continuum of care to the neediest patients, while also providing management information and real time surveillance data”
Andrew Shepherd, Omega Diagnostics
HIV - CARE MANAGEMENT
Scottish-based Omega Diagnostics develop specialist products for the Immunoassay IVD market, with an aim to improve human health & wellbeing through their diagnostic tests.
The company produce the VISITECT product, a disposable, semi-quantitative CD4 RDT used to establish the immune status of any HIV sufferer.
INNOVATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
Omega Diagnostics is committed to making innovative diagnostic testing more accessible, affordable and easy to use. In order to support this vision, the company partnered with Novarum DX to integrate mobile technology to their specially designed RDT.
REQUIREMENTS AND SOLUTIONS
Novarum DX worked closely with Omega Diagnostics during the development of their test to ensure that all requirements were met. With the test’s clinical trials imminent, the time-scale to develop the app was tight. Geography, user demographic and limited resources made the following features key:
• Easy to use – the app must be useable without training, and provide multi-lingual on-screen instructions and guidance for users.
• Integrated – Open API allows assimilation with, and support for, additional data-sharing applications as advised by the local health ministry and third parties.
• Supported – an additional R&D data portal enables data collection to support UK and international clinical trial
Not only were there challenges associated with designing the mobile application in tandem with the development of the test, other technical test-related barriers had to be addressed by the Novarum team to ensure the test and its app could be easily used, by anyone, in resource-poor settings.
Now complete, the Omega Diagnostics test, with its accompanying Novarum Reader App, has successfully undergone clinical trials in India and Kenya. By using the Novarum application with this low-cost disposable POC test, results can be easily obtained, collated and shared from even the most remote locations, meeting growing patient and health ministry needs in resource-poor countries.
Omega Diagnostics is also involved in the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) Mobile for Development mHealth Programme, which focuses on connecting mobile and health in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of this programme, the Omega RDT, with accompanying Novarum App, will be used to assist in remote care while providing real-time surveillance data to central government databases.
As part of the GSMA initiative to support the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, the VISITECT test and its accompanying app are set to expand their global reach to benefit further Resource Limited Settings countries categorised in the near future.