Newdemics, public health, small-world networks, and point-of-care testing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Point-of-care testing (POCT) contributes to evidence-based diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy, but has not been developed adequately, explored fully, or deployed proactively to meet the challenges of acute rescue, public health, or "newdemics," defined as unexpected and disruptive problems that affect the health of large numbers of individuals in a crowded world. Newdemics, such as the tsunami and Katrina disasters and obesity-diabetes, disrupt epidemiological stages of progress conventionally defined as pestilence/famine, receding pandemics, degenerative/man-made diseases, and delayed degenerative diseases. Newdemics place all nations, rich and poor, at risk and can interrupt sustainable development. Low health expenditure, high child mortality, and limited human development increase vulnerability. Review of US disaster documents, public health tomes, pandemic protocols, and public health literature reveals little or no POCT strategic positioning in critical care infrastructure. However, an effective future vision of public health integrates POCT with high degrees of mobility and rapid response from smaller, smarter, faster, and cheaper handheld, portable, and transportable instruments. Countries will benefit from field-proven designs for air-land-sea rescues, environmentally robust reagents, and lower-cost infectious disease tests (eg, rapid subtype- and strain-specific influenza tests). Small-world networks and nodally flexible telemedicine improve the efficiency of POCT in care paths, such as acute coronary syndrome triage and tight glucose control protocols. Strategically modern POCT-small-world networks will help optimize public health and newdemics outcomes in the 21st century world community of booming populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalPoint of Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Child mortality
  • Complex adaptive system
  • Demographic care unit
  • Disease burden
  • Epidemiological transition
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Health expenditure
  • Human development index
  • Katrina
  • Node
  • Self-monitoring of blood glucose
  • Tight glucose control
  • Tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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