There was a time when the only way a patient could receive comprehensive diagnostic medical tests was through a laboratory. The process often took days or weeks and was expensive, tedious, and sometimes frightening. In the last decade, however, point of care testing (POCT) has arisen as a formidable and inspirational adversary to lab-based tests.
The two methodologies (point of care testing versus lab-based tests) can and often do work together, allowing doctors and medical professionals the opportunity to cross-check and confirm results. However, there is no doubt that point of care testing is definitely a rising star in the medical/healthcare technology world. The current coronavirus pandemic may further expedite that trend.
Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why point of care testing is currently such a valuable industry in the medical world …
In recent years, the blood testing industry has gone into overdrive with its technological innovation. It is now possible to acquire a comprehensive sequence of affordable diagnostic tests in 20 minutes with nothing more than a single tiny blood sample.
These new groundbreaking point of care testing diagnostics are the result of three testing modalities — clinical chemistries, immunoassay, and hematology assays — converging into a single platform. In some cases, all that is needed is a single instrument with no refrigeration necessary.
Novel reagent technology has also transformed the concept of reliable, accurate on-site testing diagnostics, essentially eliminating the need for offsite labs that sometimes require weeks of waiting to get results.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
As they say, necessity is the mother of innovation.
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the medical industry (not to mention the whole world) and the need for rapid antibody testing will almost assuredly permanently transform the way we think about epidemiology and infectious diseases.