Focus Areas

Understanding the background, problem statement, need-gap and scope of innovation

Focus Area #1: Screening and Diagnosis

Background and Problem Statement

Disease Focus: Airborne/ Vector-borne Infections

As per The Lancet Commission on diagnostics – 2021, 47% of the world population has little to no access to diagnostics. Advances in diagnostics can act as catalysts to bring significant improvement in patient benefits and economic outcomes. For a patient in a resource-limited setting, innovations in diagnostics can bridge the availability gap, and democratize access to clinical care. Health systems will also benefit from early detection and correct identification by controlling community spread and transmission, managing expenditure, and resource allocation.

Currently used diagnostic techniques for infectious diseases however successful are often expensive, inconvenient to use, and/or inaccurate, in case of asymptomatic conditions. Thus, there remains a need for products that could realize a step change in disease diagnosis over existing established techniques.

Quest 2022, therefore aims at supporting solutions that are point-of-care, portable, rapid, accurate, and easily interfaced/connected with healthcare systems. Potential solutions should aim to improve treatment outcomes, increase efficiency and productivity, optimize resource allocation, and reduce patient load at healthcare facilities.

Need – gap and Scope of Innovation

Need # 1: Cost-effective innovations for easy sample collection, handling, and storage, that can minimize the risk of exposure to infectious pathogens.

Scope of Innovation: 

  1. Innovations that improve sample collection, handling, storage, pre-processing, verification, and/or reporting for accurate and effective disease detection.
  2. Novel, cost-effective & accurate non–invasive solutions for sample collection in paediatric patients.

 Need #2:   Diagnostic solutions meeting ASSURED criteria for disease detection in high-risk populations like paediatric, adolescent, immunocompromised patients, patients with co-morbidities, and the elderly population.

Scope of Innovation:   

  1. Innovations that can be used by minimally trained staff in primary healthcare settings to detect infections in high-risk population
  2. Rapid, point of care, digitally connected molecular/biochemical/ biomarker assays/ immunoassays/ sequencing methods, which enable early detection of infection and assist in immediate risk assessment. 
  3. Digital pathology/ mobile microscopy/ image processing / Computer-assisted technologies which reduce dependency on confirmatory tests. 
  4. Easy-to-use, PoC focussed digitally connected screening technologies with higher throughputs and quicker report generation time. 
  5. Multiplex, modular, multi-pathogen disease detection platform/ systems for use at the primary and secondary level that reliably distinguish, detect infections from clinical specimens (e.g., whole blood, urine, stool, and nasal swabs)
  6. Minimally invasive, easy to administer, point-of-care, pathogen specific DST to determine first-line regimen-based therapy and ensure correct antibiotic prescription. 

Focus Area #2: Care Pathways

Background and Problem Statement

Disease Focus: Airborne/ Vector-borne Infections

Care pathways are a clinical set of guidelines applied to a set of patients to ensure the quality of care or the standardized pathway taken by the patient while seeking healthcare.  It is the journey of the patient from the time when they enter the health system with the screening for a disease till the person completes the treatment. It also includes the post-treatment part of the care which includes but is not limited to rehabilitation & counselling.

Quest 2022 is aiming to improve the quality of care by identifying innovations that can be adopted as standardized methods of treatment and by increasing the use of efficient technology to address the problems pertaining to infectious diseases. We also aim to seek proven technologies that can improve the care continuum and ensure the availability and accessibility of healthcare at the primary level.

Need – gap and Scope of Innovation

Need #1: In-vivo drug delivery tools for infectious diseases to decrease the reliance on conventional methods of drug administration.

Scope of Innovation: 

  1. Easy to administer drug delivery tools that are minimally invasive, low cost, seamless and safe, especially for paediatric patients instead of conventional drug-based/ injectables for infectious diseases.

 Need #2: Tools for improving treatment adherence and outcomes for paediatric and adolescent patients  

Scope of innovation: 

  1. User-friendly, reliable, & patient-centric Digital Adherence Technologies (DATs) which can be used in resource-limited settings for increasing adherence.

Need #3: Improving supply chain throughout various levels of care delivery. 

Scope of innovation: 

  1. Tools that can track the availability of drugs and consumables and bring transparency to the supply chain. Approaches that ensure access to quality consumables/drugs to
  2. Intelligent logistics solutions that can optimize turnaround time and maintain the quality of samples collected from remotely located laboratories.

Focus Area #3: Disease Surveillance

Background and Problem Statement

According to NITI Aayog, “Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India”, community disease surveillance is one of the key objectives to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem. Therefore, there is a need to establish mechanisms to streamline data capture, analysis, sharing, and dissemination for action. These could include the use of situation-aware real-time signals from surveillance systems running on various technologies for generating epidemic intelligence. Moreover, in alignment with the principle of ‘one-health’ environmental, plant, and animal disease surveillance there is also a need to be integrated into the surveillance information systems of India. Effective surveillance provides an informed understanding of the epidemiology of the disease to ensure a timely response to disease outbreaks.  

Quest 2022, therefore aims at supporting innovative disease surveillance devices and/or technologies that would effectively strengthen the health systems by generating meaningful evidence that would guide relevant stakeholders to take responsive, timely, and appropriate actions

Need – gap and Scope of Innovation

Need #1: Environmental health surveillance, vector, plant, and animal disease surveillance innovations capable of integration into the existing surveillance systems that are human disease centric. 

Scope of Innovation:

  1. Technology that aids in forecasting, outbreak prediction, and disease prevention and control.
  2. Innovations that use environment, vectors, plants, or animals to detect the viral or bacterial load for high burden communicable diseases in a population or geography.

Need #2:  Increasing case finding & notification in infectious diseases through technologies that increase the integration of health information.

Scope of Innovation:  

  1. Models, tools, analytics, surveillance platforms, and other high-impact approaches to fill knowledge and practice gaps in epidemiological understanding of transmission of infectious diseases.
  2. Innovations that can help in collecting patient information and collating data from the private stakeholders in the communicable diseases care cascade to integrate with public health systems for strengthening disease notification and driving data-based decision making.