Health Care Stakeholders Collaborate to Advance Pandemic Preparedness

May 17, 2019

Key health care stakeholders representing the laboratory and medical professions, government and in vitro diagnostics manufacturers gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss how innovative diagnostics enhance public health preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks in the United States and around the world. The discussion was hosted by AdvaMedDx, the American Society for Microbiology, the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Diagnostics are essential tools that enable and inform all aspects of infectious disease outbreak management – from surveillance and detection to response, containment and recovery.  Advances in diagnostic technologies, such as next generation sequencing, are essential in our fight against both newly emerging and persistent infectious disease threats. Discussion participants focused conversation on how advances in diagnostic technologies and robust bioinformatics/data analytic tools have enabled entities such as the CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) Program to detect infectious disease outbreaks more rapidly, and with greater precision, allowing for a more successful response.  

The following are statements from the sponsoring organizations of the panel discussion:

“The value of diagnostics in protecting public health cannot be overstated. Diagnostics allow for the detection and characterization of disease outbreaks sooner, enabling researchers, public health professionals and health care providers to mount a more rapid and effective response to protect the public. AdvaMedDx members are working every day to deliver better, more innovative diagnostic solutions and are striving to ensure that those solutions are part of public health preparedness and response plans in the United States and around the world.”
      -Susan Van Meter, AdvaMedDx Executive Director

“The American Society for Microbiology is proud to help showcase the success of the CDC advanced molecular detection program. Cutting edge tools like AMD allow those on the front lines of public health delivery to detect, prevent and respond to threats ranging from food-borne illness to emerging and reemerging infectious disease. This life-saving work by CDC and its partners would not be possible without federal investments in basic microbial science, technological development and tools like genome mapping.”
      -Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, American Society for Microbiology

“Advances in diagnostic technology play a critical role in improving outbreak detection and ensuring that patients receive optimal treatment, and public policy and regulation must support the development of new and improved diagnostic tests to drive progress even further. Infectious disease physicians serve as a critical bridge between the clinical laboratory, other health care providers and public health officials to ensure the proper use and interpretation of frontline diagnostic testing. IDSA is committed to supporting improved diagnostics, including providing recommendations to spur research and development of new tests and encouraging their use in patient care and public health.”
      -Kim Hanson, MD, IDSA Diagnostics Committee Chair

“Advances in diagnostic technology have enabled public health laboratories to detect and respond to outbreaks faster and with greater accuracy. Identifying and stopping outbreaks faster results in fewer people getting sick, which in turn leads to improved health outcomes and reduced costs. Accurate identification of the source of an outbreak also benefits businesses by preventing unnecessary product recalls and lost productivity. New diagnostic technologies are instrumental for public health laboratories to be able to save lives and protect their communities.”
      -Joanne Bartkus, PHD, D(ABMM), Director, Public Health Laboratory, Minnesota Department of Health

Author: ASM Communications

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