Organization and Management Theory OMT

Evidence that multi-use devices are more efficient

  • 1.  Evidence that multi-use devices are more efficient

    Posted 10-08-2023 19:46

    In planning for emergency medical care following a very large-scale (e.g., involving thousands or even millions of victims)   terrorist or nuclear attack, US funding agencies have argued that the best devices to develop for treating or diagnosing victims of chemical or nuclear threats would be those that can be quickly revised and reapplied from 'ordinary use' in hospitals or clinics. The official wording from BARDA  is  that their goal is to "evaluat[e] laboratory and point-of-care testing that leverages existing platforms and can be rapidly adapted to emerging threats".  An example would be a high throughput platform that can simultaneously process hundreds or more of samples. 

     While redeploying a device already in use for other tests seems intuitively appealing, it ignores problems of suspending care of patients outside of the emergency as well as ignoring the extreme logistical problems and profoundly compromised communication and transportation infrastructure for obtaining the samples in the first place, transporting them to the location of the 'platforms' for analysis, identifying the samples and their point of origin for sending the results back to the medical decision-makers when the victims are not part of any integrated medical network, and the additional problems of relocating the victims a few days later who may not have been  able to return to their homes or use cellphones, etc.   

    The question is: is there a literature or body of evidence that supports the idea that it is better to try to figure out how to adapt devices already in routine use for other purposes to process millions of urgent samples  to obtain results in a few days and under disaster conditions?