The Ebola Spatial Care Path™: Accelerating point-of-care diagnosis, decision making, and community resilience in outbreaks

Gerald J Kost, William J. Ferguson, Jackie Hoe, Anh Thu Truong, Arirat Banpavichit, Surin Kongpila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To present a vision where point-of-care testing (POCT) accelerates an Ebola Spatial Care Path™ (SCP) and future molecular diagnostics enable facilitated-access self-testing (FAST POC); to design an alternate care facility (ACF) for the SCP; to innovate an Ebola diagnostic center (DC); and to propel rapid POCT to the frontline to create resilience that stops future outbreaks.

DESIGN: PubMed, literature, and web searches. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Medicine Without Frontiers, and World Health Organization (WHO) document analyses. Investigations in China, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. Review of SE Asia, US, and West Africa isolation-treatment centers. Innovation of a SCP, ACF, and DC suitable for American and other communities.

OUTCOMES: The authors designed an ACF and DC to integrate SCP principles for urgent Ebola care. FDA emergency use authorizations for Ebola molecular diagnostics were discovered, but no portable, handheld, or self-contained molecular POC instruments are yet available, although feasible. The WHO initiated design criteria and an acceptance protocol for testing. Financial investment in POCT will downsize Ebola outbreaks.

CONCLUSIONS: POCT is facilitating global health. Now, global health problems are elevating POCT to new levels of importance for accelerating diagnosis and evidence-based decision making during disease outbreaks. Authorities concur that rapid diagnosis has potential to stop disease spread. With embedded POCT, strategic SCPs planned by communities fulfill CDC recommendations. POC devices should consolidate multiplex test clusters supporting patients with Ebola in isolation. The ultimate future solution is FAST POC. New technologies offer minimally significant risks. Diagnostic centers in ACFs and transportable formats also will optimize Ebola SCPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-143
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican journal of disaster medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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