By Julia E von Oettingen, Ophira Ginsburg, Sandeep P Kishore, Sonak D Pastakia, Lee F Schroeder, Dan A Milner, et al.
The Lancet Global Health, June 1, 2019
Heart attack, diabetes, cancer: these common clinical diagnoses can (and should) be confirmed with a diagnostic test. However, in large parts of the world, up-to-date, cost-effective, and simple diagnostic tools remain unavailable. Patients and health-care providers in such settings are often reliant on so-called syndromic medicine, whereby diagnoses are made on the basis of clinical judgment and treatment is administered empirically. This approach is less than ideal, because it carries the risk of misdiagnosis, unnecessary or harmful treatments, adverse sequelae, and even death.