It’s time to close the treatment gap

In the United States, women are the primary decision makers for family health care decisions. However, health inequalities remain prevalent here and around the world, affecting the care of all women, especially in underserved communities and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) women. may give.

From access to testing to the quality of care women receive, these disparities can lead to potentially life-threatening delays in diagnosing and treating diseases. How much is the importance of focusing on improving access to health care and strengthening the capacity of health systems to provide preventive care and routine diagnostic screenings for all patients, especially the most vulnerable? There is no such thing as too much.

Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of underfunded, poorly researched, and underserved women’s health. A recent Harris poll conducted on behalf of BD revealed even more.

More than two-thirds of women report having or think they have a vaginal or yeast infection, yet their health care provider does not diagnose symptoms during a single visit. Only 37% were able to diagnose and prescribe appropriate treatment. And when you look at the data through the lens of ethnicity, the results are even more alarming.

The study found that less than one-third (29%) of black women said their health care provider was able to diagnose their condition and prescribe appropriate treatment in a single visit. This number is even lower for Hispanic women (23%). This difference is particularly pronounced compared to white women, who reported that 42% of them had a successful diagnosis and treatment in one of her visits, a figure that remains disappointingly low. is.

Misdiagnosis means inappropriate treatment recommendations, i.e. undertreatment or overtreatment. Unnecessary follow-up visits may be required and may be affected by access if the woman has multiple jobs, financial difficulties, childcare needs or lack of a doctor or clinic. can be a barrier. Conveniently located.

Among women who have had or think they have had a vaginal infection, disparities in making medical appointments have been shown to be more pronounced for Hispanic women, compared to white women were three times more likely to say it took them longer to get a vaginal infection. She was four times more likely (16% vs. 4%) to say that she had to visit a healthcare provider several times before finding the right treatment.

And late last year, another BD-sponsored Harris Poll found significant gaps in women’s knowledge of the leading cause of cervical cancer (i.e. HPV) and the most effective preventative measures (i.e. vaccinations and routine check-ups). It was shown that there is

The study highlights a knowledge gap between Hispanic and black women. Hispanic women were 2.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to say they delayed getting a Pap test because of fear of pain, and how often were black women tested compared to white women? Almost three times more likely to say they don’t know if they’ll get it. I am going to have a Pap test.

A recent poll found that nearly one in ten Asian women (12%) had never undergone a gynecological examination, similar to black (10%) and Hispanic (11%) women. It has been shown. This figure is also about a third of the rate reported by white women.

Considering convenience as a component of medical access makes self-collection a viable and attractive option. In a Harris poll last year, 79% of American women said they were interested in using a self-collection kit to screen for HPV or cervical cancer. This is an alternative form of screening that allows women to collect their own samples.

Self-sampling is already in use worldwide and in the United States (particularly for clinic testing), including BD, which can test for multiple common types of vaginitis using only one swab and swab. Includes vaginal panel. BD CTGCTV2 test to detect The three most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted diseases. Also, his self-collection of HPV tests, including the BD Onclarity™ HPV test, has been approved and is now available in many countries. A recently released report by the Biden administration’s cancer committee seeks to accelerate this effort in the United States, calling on developers to verify self-sampling and asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the claims. .

Self-collection options are just one way the industry can do to improve access. From sexually transmitted disease testing to cervical cancer screening, our diagnostic instruments and assays could directly impact women’s health.But our responsibility goes beyond that developingMeaningful healthcare technology.We must help ensure that these innovations are realized accessible to more people. We have a responsibility to tackle society’s greatest challenges head-on, using our scale and influence to drive continuous improvement.

Our industry can have a tangible and meaningful impact on society, but as the saying goes, ‘If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve already got. ” The healthcare industry needs to do more than make health equity a top priority. Together we need to take bold action now and every day.

The results of these polls help us better understand and strengthen our commitment to change. We applaud the work of the recently established Parliamentary Social Decision Makers Health Caucus and work with it to create real and effective change within communities and to positively address longstanding disparities in care. Looking forward to cutting back.

About the author: Brooke Story is BD’s Worldwide President of Integrated Diagnostic Solutions.

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