A novel collection cup for tuberculosis sputum in South Africa

engineering design and user testing considerations

  • Matthew D. Doerfler Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
  • Katie N. Truitt Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
  • Mark J. Fisher Center for Innovation in Global Health Technology, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA
  • Grant Theron NRF/DST Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research; South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research; Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Sally M. McFall Center for Innovation in Global Health Technology, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

Abstract

Low-cost, targeted engineering interventions can revolutionize health care, particularly in low-income environments. We outline a process for user testing of novel sputum collection cup models for PCR-based based tuberculosis assays in Cape Town, South Africa. Providing a sputum sample is difficult for many patients, and the quality of the sample affects downstream test performance. Observational data was collected from six representative sites including outpatient clinics, hospitals, and processing laboratories, and interviews were performed with individuals involved with sputum collection (n=10), processing (n=10), and transportation (n=3). Participants compared “rocket” and “squeeze” prototypes to the current cup by answering standardized questions and ranking the usability and perceived safety of the models. Sputum collectors found the current model significantly easier to use (p-value: 0.0091) and safer (p-value: 0.0044) than the “squeeze” model. Sputum processors found the “squeeze” model more difficult to use than both the current jar (p-value: 0.0091) and the “rocket” model (p-value: 0.0012). They additionally perceived the “squeeze” model to be less safe than the “rocket” prototype (p-value: 0.0007). These results were incorporated into a remodelled sputum collection cup that contains a stable, upright base, maximum and minimum markers, and a tight seal to meet the needs of primary users.

Published
2018-11-28
How to Cite
DOERFLER, Matthew D. et al. A novel collection cup for tuberculosis sputum in South Africa. Global Health Innovation, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, nov. 2018. ISSN 2617-1155. Available at: <https://journals.uct.ac.za/index.php/GHI/article/view/642>. Date accessed: 14 dec. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.15641/ghi.v1i2.642.
Section
Research articles