Diagnostic Technologies

Noncommunicable Diseases Portfolio

Disease overview

While the impact of infectious diseases understandably attracts significant attention and funding from the global health community, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are also responsible for significant morbidity in the developing world. As the effects of major infectious diseases are incrementally reduced, NCDs will inevitably become more prominent global health problems. Even today, 60% of all deaths worldwide are due to chronic disease, primarily in low- and middle-income countries.

Areas of focus

PATH has supported the development of diagnostics for diabetes screening, diagnosis, treatment monitoring; breast cancer; and tuberculosis/diabetes cross-screening. Currently, PATH Diagnostics is focused on two NCD-related projects:

Micronutrient surveillance

Micronutrient deficiencies can cause illness, disability, and increased risk of death, and they are especially common in children and women of childbearing age. An estimated 2 billion people worldwide are MN deficient, the majority of whom live in low-income countries. PATH and our partners, Quansys Biosciences Inc. and the University of Washington, sought to develop tools to enable improved population surveillance for MN status. The result is the Q-Plex™ Human Micronutrient Assay (7-Plex). Read more


The risk of a pregnant woman dying from preeclampsia/eclampsia (PE) in a developing country is approximately 300 times greater than in developed countries. WHO estimates that PE causes up to 16% of maternal deaths worldwide. Since 2012 PATH has improved tools for PE risk assessment and diagnosis, including a simple, inexpensive urine dipstick test. Read more