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Diagnosing diseases in rural and under-developed area presents several challenges. Patients may need to travel long distances for care and often do not return for test results. Lack of refrigeration limits the type of test that can be stored in a rural clinic. Local expertise in special testing may not be available to the local health care giver. These limitations have led to the development of several low-cost, simple diagnostic tests that give results within a matter of minutes. High incidences in rural areas of infectious diseases like HIV and malaria make these types of tests a key component in treating people sooner and reducing the spread of disease.
Links to Articles on the Web
How the Simple Side of High-tech Makes the Developing World Better, NY Times, September 30, 2003
Building scientific capacity in developing countries, EMBO Reports Vol 5, No 1, 2004
Coloma J, Harris E. Innovative low cost technologies for biomedical research and diagnosis in developing countries. BMJ. 2004 Nov 13;329(7475):1160-2.
Vietnam medic makes DIY endoscope BBC News, 2005.