Diagnostics for the Real World (DRW), a for-profit spinout from the Diagnostics Development Unit at the University of Cambridge, is focused on manufacturing and commercializing technologies created at the university that can help address the unmet diagnostic needs of patients in developing countries. DRW’s first product was a reliable, low-cost Chlamydia Rapid Test (CRT) that made it feasible to conduct field-based chlamydia screening in the remote, resource-poor settings. Even more importantly, the new test enabled healthcare providers to test and treat patients in a single interaction rather than having to send samples to a central laboratory and get patients to return for their results and treatment options.
When the test was ready to launch, DRW believed that a more effective chlamydia rapid test represented such a compelling need that commercial success was bound to follow. Unfortunately, the team encountered numerous challenges in driving adoption of the product due to stakeholder resistance and the misalignment between the capabilities test and the priorities of its funders and/or customers. This mini-case study explores the potential gap between the need for a solution and demand for it, as well as DRW’s response.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Helen Lee of Diagnostics for the Real World for her participation. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.