A recent study can help governments understand which diagnostic laboratory tests are most important when developing universal health care systems.
Researchers from five countries found that diagnostic laboratory tests were used equally across the globe, although the institutions they studied were different in terms of poverty levels, health systems and disease spread.
"Although poor countries have many more infectious diseases, while richer people suffer more from non-infectious diseases such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease, the test patterns were surprisingly similar in these countries," said Susan Horton, a public health professor at the University of Waterloo and the study. principal investigator. "The interpretation is that human biology is the same across the globe, affecting the type of test needed."
The researchers obtained data on the 25 most common tests in five hospitals ranging from lower to high incomes around the world: Kenya, India, Nigeria, Malaysia and the US Two were private hospitals while three were public.
They compared the test volume as well as their prices and found that the same tests were common everywhere. Compared to the prices of different types of tests in each hospital, the researchers compared the most common biochemical test (blood sugar), the most common hematological test (CBC), the most common microbiology test (urine culture) and total histopathological tests (surgicals).
They found that although the relative prices varied, the biochemical test price was the lowest in each hospital, where the hematology and microbiology test prices were about three times as high, and the histopathology test was about. 1
Compared to the volume, four of the five best tests were the same across four of the hospitals, and the fifth hospital had three that were the same. Surprisingly, a tuberculosis diagnosis test only appeared in the top 25 of a hospital, despite the presence of the disease in some countries. The researchers assume that the tests take place outside the hospital, such as the hospital. TB dedicated facilities.
"As countries around the world try to carry out universal health care, their health systems will require better, affordable and effective laboratory tests to guide diagnosis and treatment," Horton said. "An important implication is that the new essential diagnosis list issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 is likely to be a powerful tool – and since most of the tests on our top 25 list were also included in the WHO list, these results have potential for Providing universal health coverage plans. "
Horton added that more data should be collected from a more representative set of healthcare facilities in each country, especially as they develop their own key diagnostic lists.  The study "The Top 25 Laboratory Tests by Volume and Earnings in Five Different Countries" was authored by Susan Horton, Kenneth A Fleming, Modupe Kuti, Lai-Meng Looi, Sanjay A Pai, Shahin Sayed, and Michael L Wilson. It was published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology .
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Susan Horton et al., The Top 25 Laboratory Tests by Volume and Turnover in Five Different Countries [AmericanJournalofClinicalPathology (2018). DOI: 10.1093 / ajcp / aqy165
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