Tony Cambridge provides a brief overview of the development of POCT and his evolving role in this near-patient service, and introduces a new website, including interactive media, devoted to all aspects of rapid and decentralised diagnostics.
Point-of-care testing (POCT) has risen from modest beginnings (glucose and urine testing) to a specialist area of healthcare with exponential global growth, positively impacting on patient management. Healthcare provision without a range of POCT solutions seems incredulous in the modern day.
Imagine cardiovascular surgery without access to a comprehensive panel of tests offered by blood gas and acute-care analysers. Consider the effective management of diabetes without accurate blood glucose and blood ketone monitoring. The impact the use of screening tools such as urinalysis has on laboratory testing cannot be overestimated. Unnecessary laboratory work is undoubtedly avoided.
It did not seem so long ago that POCT had to be explained to anyone not directly involved in using these devices and testing methods. Ask the same question now and you are likely to receive a very different response. Healthcare professionals and the public have seen devices thrust into their lives under the banner of POCT and self-testing.
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