An initial Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting for the pneumonia diagnostics project to evaluate respiratory rate and pulse oximetry devices for the diagnosis of pneumonia in children at community and first level health facility level was held in Geneva in June 2014. The meeting was attended by global representatives for UNICEF, World Health Organization, child health experts, diagnostics experts and country representatives from the four countries where the study is proposed to be conducted. The objectives of the meeting were to brief the SAC and ratify the methodologies and stages involved in the project, to ratify and agree on the Target Product Profiles for the respiratory rate and pulse oximeter devices to be used in the project and to seek recommendations for advocacy and dissemination for the project results. Overall, the SAC approved of the study and the protocols and activities presented. They highlighted the importance of the findings and its vital role in improving the detection of the symptoms of pneumonia in children under five in the community settings. The SAC also made several important recommendations for ways to improve the study design and ensure the results were as scientifically robust as possible. These included a request to ensure all of the stages of the study were documented and these protocols distributed and agreed with the SAC before implementation. The group also recommended the introduction of ‘in-vitro’ testing of devices before they are taken out into the field for evaluation. The group recommended the use of a reference standard rather than a gold standard, when comparing device performance.
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