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FIND, LLamasoft Developing Open-Access Tool to Improve Dx Access

NEW YORK – The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and supply chain firm LLamasoft announced Thursday a partnership to develop an open-access tool to identify cost-effective approaches to increase diagnostic reach in low- and middle-income countries.

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

The tool will guide placement of diagnostics aligned with treatment capacity for tuberculosis, HIV, and other diseases, FIND said in a statement. It will also provide data-driven guidance to help the Ministries of Health and global health donors make decisions on diagnostics.

The tool applies advanced analytics to data such as case notification reports, testing statistics, epidemiological and demographic surveys, population data, geographical parameters, and transportation. It then creates a digital representation of the supply chain to answer scenario questions and determine optimal diagnostic equipment placement and capacity.

The USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management project is helping develop the tool and will fund its hosting and maintenance once its active, the Geneva-based nonprofit said.

"Taking a step back and analyzing the data, we can see how we can improve patients' access to diagnostic services and do better with the resources already available," said Zachary Katz, FIND's chief access officer. "Network optimization is already being used to enhance supply chains across many industries – it is logical and necessary to bring this approach to diagnostics and global health through an open-access tool."