Planning for scale-up of a noninvasive anemia screening and monitoring technology in low-resource settings
Anemia is one of the most serious global health problems, and it particularly affects pregnant women in developing countries. Anemia often goes undetected and untreated, placing women and their newborns at risk for poor pregnancy outcomes. Nowhere is this truer than in Africa where an estimated 200,000 women die from birth complications every year. The proposed study will investigate whether the Pronto-7® - a new noninvasive hemoglobin point-of-care technology - can help expand access to screening and increase early identification and treatment of maternal anemia through testing and counseling of pregnant women in western Kenya. Unlike other anemia detection methods, the device does not require a blood draw, is portable and therefore is not limited to use in health facilities, and provides immediate results. This means that women with anemia could be screened, then counseled, and provided with iron immediately. This could reduce patient drop-out and increase adherence to iron therapy. Under this study we will assess use of the device under field conditions, measure posttest adherence to treatment, document user and provider feedback on the new method compared to current approaches, document costs of using the new device, and based on those findings assess potential for future scale-up. Project partners are PATH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Kisumu Medical Education Trust, APHIAplus project in western Kenya, Masimo Corporation, and African Institute for Innovation and Technology. The collaboration offers combined expertise in technology development, adaptation, and introduction, research and program implementation, and manufacturing and scale-up.