Optimizing VL testing access for the last mile: Geospatial cost model for POC instrument placement

This study conducted in Zambia compared the cost of placing POC VL instruments at or near facilities to the cost of an expanded sample transportation network to deliver samples to centralized laboratories in hard-to-reach sites.

The authors conclude that POC VL testing may reduce the costs of expanding access to the hardest-to-reach populations, despite the cost of equipment and low patient volumes. An optimal combination of both on-site placement and the use of POC hubs can reduce the cost per test by 6–35% by reducing transport costs and increasing instrument utilization.