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Thurs, December 21st 2023

ProtonDx's Dr Kasia Szostak-Lipowicz Addresses UN Panel on Transformative Digital Diagnostic Technologies

ProtonDx’s Regulatory Affairs Director, Dr Kasia Szostak-Lipowicz, was invited to the UN Panel on Transformative Digital Diagnostic Technologies, where she discussed how ProtonDx’s work can help bridge healthcare gaps in Africa.

In a bid towards improving global health, the recent 2023 World Health Assembly passed a resolution that emphasised the role of digital diagnostics in advancing healthcare on a worldwide scale. During the Science Summit at United Nations General Assembly 78 (UNGA78), experts and researchers came together to discuss the transformative effect of digital diagnostic technologies. 

ProtonDx’s Regulatory Affairs Director, Dr Kasia Szostak-Lipowicz, took the stage to share how the work we have been doing to help improve healthcare offerings in Africa.

 

The Panel and Its Focus

The United Nations Summit featured an impressive lineup of experts and researchers who convened to discuss the challenges facing healthcare in Africa. This ranges from the lack of healthcare facilities to the difficulty in accurately diagnosing illnesses, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

These key issues have been a long-standing impediment to ensuring equitable healthcare access across Africa. This is where fast, accurate, inexpensive, and connected diagnostics come into the picture to bridge the healthcare gap in Africa.

 

ProtonDx's Solution in Digital Diagnostics

Dr Szostak-Lipowicz presented Lacewing, a highly portable, lab-on-chip detection platform for multi-pathogen detection that is currently under development. Lacewing uses micro-fluidics, isothermal amplification, and microchip technology to provide accurate results while reducing sample-to-result time.

 

Currently, ProtonDx offers Dragonfly, a rapid point-of-care molecular diagnostic platform also based on isothermal amplification technology that is sold in the UK and EU. What sets Dragonfly apart from current diagnostic devices on the market, is its ability to deliver accurate and rapid results for the differentiation of multiple pathogens in less than 30 minutes. The device is highly portable and can be shipped and stored at ambient temperatures making it suitable for use in remote and resource-limited areas such as in rural Africa, where traditional diagnostic facilities are not always available.

 

Dragonfly's capabilities extend to detecting five different pathogens: SARS-CoV-2, Flu A (IAV), Flu B (IBV), RSV, and HRV, all from a single respiratory swab sample. Being able to provide PCR-equivalent results in just 30 minutes, Dragonfly’s rapid and accurate diagnostic capability is invaluable.

 

Addressing Sustainability and Affordability in Diagnostics

During the Q&A session, one critical question emerged: How can diagnostics be sustainably and affordably distributed in resource-limited regions like Africa?

 

Dr Szostak-Lipowicz provided an insightful response, emphasising that the issue of sustainability and affordability is multifaceted and requires a collaborative approach. From a company perspective, she noted the importance of cost reduction through various means, such as utilising sustainable materials and optimising mass production.

She also brought up the need for advocacy efforts that would engage governments, other companies, and organisations in collaborating to make diagnostics sustainable for everyone throughout the supply chain.

 

Learn About Dragonfly

The introduction of Dragonfly and the ongoing development of Lacewing demonstrate ProtonDx’s commitment to providing rapid, multi-pathogen, and accurate diagnostic solutions. To learn more about Dragonfly, our molecular testing platform, contact us here.

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