Bio-Innovation in Taiwan, the First Survey of Point-of-Care Professional Needs, and Geospatially Enhanced Resilience in At-Risk Settings


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Abstract

GoalsThe aims of this article were to report the first Taiwan point-of-care testing (POCT) needs assessment survey, to analyze distance/time/economic metrics for POC diagnosis in Hualien, an eastern seaboard county vulnerable to typhoons, and to recommend national policy and guidelines (P&G) for enhancing POCT and resilience.MethodsWe organized a Bio-Innovation Symposium at Taiwan National University, before which participants (68) from Taipei and other regions responded to an English/Chinese survey with views on how to implement POCT. We analyzed Hualien County geospatially and compared geometrics with/without POCT.ResultsMultidisciplinary respondents (34%, 23/68) suggested medical technologists be coordinators responsible for device management, education/training, communications across departments, preparation/maintenance of compliance documents, and performance assurance; 93% suggested P&G cover highly infectious diseases (Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and Zika); and 81% agreed POCT-equipped isolation laboratories are necessary. Ranked priorities for POCT were acute myocardial infarction (34%), infectious diseases (22%), diabetes (21%), acute heart failure (13%), and blood gas/electrolytes (9%). Most (75%) suggested P&G be integrated, created by both local and national agencies (52%). Reliability (29%) and device management (18%) were top priorities. Most (71%) said hospitals should select instruments, whereas medical technologists administrate (59%) and perform (50%) POCT.ConclusionsBio-innovators are enthusiastically creating POC technologies in Taiwan, including low marginal cost assay modules capable of transforming public health paradigms. Geospatial analysis showed that POCT can speed acute response in rural areas of Hualien County. At a national convocation of the Taiwan Association of Medical Technologists, P&G receptivity and support were strong, suggesting Taiwan will publish national POCT P&G. Priorities include rural areas and vulnerable populations.

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