Who we are

We are an African laboratory initiative called iLEAD (Innovation in Laboratory Engineered Accelerated Diagnostics). Our activities promote innovation, novel solutions and social entrepreneurship in the medical diagnostic arena focusing on five themes within the laboratory value chain. We operate from across three centres of excellence in South Africa, Mozambique and Senegal.

iLEAD works with the ‘end in mind’ and our success is moving innovations through the pipeline towards implementation for impact on patient care.

Innovation Themes Within The Laboratory Value Chain


The focus area for innovations that optimise linkage-to-care (e.g. unique identification), that increase access to self-testing as well as technologies to assist patients in taking responsibility of their own health (e.g. access to personal health records).

This focus area also strives to investigate how best a patient can improve their relationships with health care workers as well as improve their experiences within clinics (e.g. reduced waiting time for clinical consultations and medicine collections as well as increased access to point-of-care testing.)


The focus area for innovations that strive towards better specimen quality, that are less invasive to the patient, single specimen-to-multiple testing methods, specimen tracking concepts as well as technologies that offer unique specimen storage and biorepository techniques.


The focus area for innovations that increase efficiencies in specimen tracking, accountability and integrity as well as innovations that increase access to rapid result returns to clinics and patients. These innovations could include GIS tracking and cost-sharing methods such as the ‘Uber’ technology.



Central Laboratory Testing

The focus area that is aimed at optimising diagnostics across the tiered framework (hybrid model: highly centralised to point-of-care testing – POCT). Innovations should have a systems approach and offer automated platforms with the capacity of performing multiple tests. Other areas of improved diagnostics included platforms that offer increased test performance (sensitivity & specificity), improved use cases (adults and paediatrics), improved turn-around-time.

Diagnostic innovations should be part of the ‘connectivity’ culture and contribute towards big data which in turn is analysed for accurate programmatic and operational monitoring. The impact of these diagnostics should include reduce testing costs, improved quality and increased access to testing for patients.

System Wide Connectivity

The focus area that embraces digital health transformation to; improve linking patients to care, increase continuous quality monitoring of testing, map national and global disease trends, provide programmatic and operational monitoring as well to provide targeted training to health care workers, laboratory technicians and community workers.


Engage with us

iLEAD’s unique approach stimulates innovation in new diagnostics and laboratory systems, with interventions that will deliver across the laboratory value chain.

If you have an innovation and would like to collaborate with us, please send us your concept note by clicking on the link provided below.

Send us your Concept

Why Innovate With Us

World Class Laboratory Infrastructure

  • Our laboratories are fully accredited for clinical trials for diseases such as HIV and TB
  • Our laboratories enable protocol development and training
  • Our laboratories enable Research and Development innovations and evaluations
  • Our laboratory network is connected via middleware, laboratory information systems and dashboards
  • Our laboratories are biorepositories with IATA-approved shipping services
  • Laboratories have Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping service modelling
  • Laboratories offer specialty services such as haematology, immunology, virology, pharmacokinetics, microbiology, chemical pathology and genotyping
  • Laboratory partners include expert committees, specialty laboratories and leading diagnostic suppliers

Clinical Platform

  • Clinics can perform needs assessments, protocol and algorithm development
  • Clinic networks are Good Clinical Practice (GCP) managed, within Ministry of Health systems
  • We can perform approved clinical trials
  • Clinics enable patient workflow assessments, linked to patient care programs
  • Clinics can operate mobile units
  • Clinics have Research and Development capabilities and connectivity
  • Clinics include public and private partnerships

Research and Development Platform

  • Diagnostic method comparisons
  • WHO pre-qualification experts
  • Innovation concept development
  • All stage evaluation (laboratory-clinical interfacing)
  • Algorithm and practice development

Quality Framework

  • Quality standards apply to Research and Development, material development, program design and connectivity development
  • Quality standards are achieved through Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) training and certification (including laboratory and clinical infection control training)
  • ISO, Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Management Systems (QMS) compliance is standard
  • International External Quality Assurance (EQA) participants include providers and monitors
  • Training initiatives include accredited web-based options
  • Connectivity quality is enhanced through dashboards, web, SMS and technology applications

Statistical Analysis, Health Economics and Epidemiology

  • iLEAD uses laboratory method comparisons and biostatistics
  • iLEAD conducts epidemiology and public health assessments
  • Health economics includes costing, modelling and business development
  • Big data analysis and dashboard visualisation are utilised
  • Partners include leading universities, private industry and public health bodies

Business Intelligence Platforms

  • Big data analysis and dashboard visualization for program management utilizing a team of experts (Biomedical Engineers, Data Analysts and Medical Scientists)
  • Unique laboratory data repository (central data warehouse) from which operational and programmatic insights are visualized through dashboards

Global Network and Information Dissemination Platform

  • Stakeholder interaction and networking is facilitated
  • Trials consortia and project networks are linked
  • Services are integrated
  • Guidelines and policy development are shared
  • Graduate teaching (medical, biomedical, engineering, science and technology) and training (laboratory and clinics) are supported
  • iLEAD’s global network include international health organisations, universities, business and public and private clinics and laboratories

Financial and Legal Platform

  • Contract negotiations and management
  • Grant administration experts
  • Monitoring & Evaluation experts

Research Ethics Framework

  • Each country abides to the rules and regulations of their local IREB
  • Assistance with relevant stakeholder approvals (such as the National Departments of Health)

Regulation and Market Analysis Platform

  • Technology transfer, Intellectual Property (IP) and Social Entrepreneurship support for innovations

Where We Are