The Research Project 

uk-aid-nihr-logo-funded-by-colour-300px.png

We believe that portable molecular digital diagnostics can transform healthcare in Africa. 
53507a_8859265530c94dbb8979dd5f8b1d788b~mv2.png

Established in August 2022, the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Digital Diagnostics for African Health Systems aims to:  

  • develop an evidence-base to support the development, implementation, and impact of digital diagnostics technology in African health systems

 

  • training a cohort of African Digital Diagnostics Fellows who will evaluate the impact of and develop further digital diagnostics technology

Background & Research Questions

Digital diagnostics use lab-on-chip technology to detect analytes, generating, processing, storing, and transmitting digital data, with real-time connectivity, providing actionable results to the user and data for disease surveillance.

 

We have developed a modular digital molecular diagnostic platform called Lacewing, which features the sensitivity of PCR in a handheld, easy-to-use, robust, rapid, and cheap, sample-to-answer format, suitable for point-of-need diagnosis in African healthcare settings.

 

We have developed a series of tests for different diagnostic situations including detection of malaria parasites and other pathogens, and distinguishing causes of childhood febrile illness. Data from each diagnostic test is transmitted to a smartphone which provides the user interface and secure onwards transmission of data. 

How does a lab-on-chip digital diagnostic perform under different use-cases in Africa healthcare settings?

How can digital diagnostics like this best be integrated into healthcare practice and policy in Africa?

Cross-cutting Work Packages

WP1 | Technology Development 
Lead: Prof. Pantelis Georgiou (Imperial College London)
WP2 | Community Engagement and Involvement
Lead: Prof. Salome Bukachi (University of Nairobi)
WP3 | Diagnostic Evaluation 
Leads: Dr Jane Achan (Malaria Consortium), Dr Samuel Duodu (University of Ghana)
WP4 | Health Systems 
Lead: Dr Julie Balen (University of Sheffield)
WP5 | User Interface Co-design
Lead: Dr Talya Porat (Imperial College London)
WP6 | Data Integration and Application
Leads: Prof. Céire Costelloe (Imperial College London, Mr Darlington Akogo (minoHealth AI)

Research Sub-Projects

 SP1 |  Evaluation of the detection of asymptomatic carriage of malaria parasites in cross-sectional community screening surveys using a point of care digital diagnostic 
PhD Student: Dimbintsoa Robinson, MRC Unit The Gambia (LSYTM) – 
Supervisors: Prof. D'Alessandro, Prof Tinto 
                


 SP2 |  Evaluation of the detection of malaria parasite species and anti-malarial resistance in uncomplicated malaria patients using a point of care digital diagnostic 
 PhD Student: Martin Chamai, University of Ghana, WACCBIP – Supervisors: Dr Amoah, Prof. Awandare


SP3 |  Evaluation of the detection of malaria in pregnancy and anti-malarial drug resistance using a point of care digital diagnostic 
PhD Student: Jean-Bertin Kabuya, Tropical Diseases Research Centre – Supervisor: Prof. Christine Manyando


SP4 |  Evaluation of detection of P. falciparum and P. Vivax malaria and G6PD deficiency using a point of care digital diagnostic 
PhD Student: Waleed Mohammed Alhaj Jebreel, University of Khartoum, IEND – Supervisors: Prof. Osman, Prof. Mahdi


SP5 |  Evaluating a digital diagnostic to distinguish between causes of childhood febrile illness 
PhD Student: Flavian Akite, University of Ghana, WACCBIP – Supervisors: Dr Duodu, Dr Usuf, Dr Cunnington


SP6 |  Developing and evaluating a digital diagnostic for environmental pathogen detection 
PhD Student: Erick Odoyo, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) – Supervisors: Dr Sifuna, Dr Rodriguez Manzano


SP7 |  Evaluating digital diagnostic implementation through national and international health policy &   health systems analysis 
PhD Student: Shola Kelly Molemodile Dele-Olowu, University of Ghana – Supervisors: Dr Balen, Prof. Yeung, Prof. Yawson


SP8 |  Evaluating digital diagnostic implementation through local health systems and service analysis 
PhD Student: Mamadu Baldeh, MRC Unit The Gambia (LSYTM) – Supervisors: Dr Balen, Prof de Witte, Prof Yeung


SP9 |  Co-design and development of user interfaces for digital diagnostics 
PhD Student: Angelina Ankah Amengu, University of Ghana – Supervisors: Dr Porat, Dr Abdulai


SP10 |  Integration and application of data from digital diagnostics for disease surveillance and control 
PhD Student: Francis Dzabeng, University of Ghana – Supervisors: Dr Abdulai, Mr Akogo, Dr Okell, Dr Costelloe

Research plan overview

 

NIHR_GHRG_Complete_Application[52].jpg

Let's Connect

Imperial College London

Section of Paediatric Infectious Disease
 

St Mary’s Medical School

Room 250
Paddington

Norfolk Place

London

W2 1PG

Contact: f.piffer@imperial.ac.uk

Thanks for submitting!