Bioanalytics – Biomolecular
2019 PharmSci 360
Arguably, one of the most challenging aspects of conducting clinical studies is the planning and execution of the work associated with bioassays. These challenges are greatly magnified when conducting clinical trials in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Something as straight forward as shipping samples, a routine activity in high income countries, is often a major challenge often jeopardizing the quality of the precious clinical samples. Understanding and carefully addressing these challenges is the key to running a successful clinical study. Working in LMICs one is often faced with infrastructure failures in power, availability or water, staffing stability and protests to name a few. Moving outside the major cities offers additional challenges. For example, how does one diagnose a patient who does not have the ability or means to get to a local clinic or hospital? This is where the concept of “bioassays that work under a tree” comes into play. These platforms would require little training, no power, no water and literally can be run under a tree. The tests can be transported into remote villages using a lab on wheels concept. This can then combined with cell phone technology to provide on the spot training, test documentation and result interpretation. Bottom line, working in LMICs requires constant problem solving, extreme attention to details, always having a plan B, thinking outside the box, but most importantly a can-do attitude allowing one to address the needs of so many underserved patients. Welcome to the world of global health.