Fast diagnostics not enough to change health outcomes

October 25, 2011

In this week's PLoS Medicine, the PLoS Medicine editors reflect on recent research and analysis into rapid and convenient diagnostic tests for tuberculosis and HIV. They argue that while improving the speed and convenience of diagnostic tests is important, fully evaluating diagnostics remains critical to ensure that technical improvements are translated into improved health outcomes.

The editors conclude: "We are fortunate to live in a time when technology enables us to rapidly gather and process information; the ability to do so is transforming health care. However, [the recent PLoS Medicine papers discussed] serve as a timely reminder that rapidly detecting the cause of an illness is not in itself enough to significantly change health outcomes."
-end-
Funding: The authors are each paid a salary by the Public Library of Science, and they wrote this editorial during their salaried time.

Competing Interests: The authors' individual competing interests are at http://www.plosmedicine.org/static/editorsInterests.action. PLoS is funded partly through manuscript publication charges, but the PLoS Medicine Editors are paid a fixed salary (their salary is not linked to the number of papers published in the journal).

Citation: The PLoS Medicine Editors (2011) Speed and Convenience Aren't Everything with Diagnostics. PLoS Med 9(10): e1001113. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001113

CONTACT: medicine_editors@plos.org

PLOS

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