Over the last few years, we’ve all witnessed the toll that overwhelming caseloads of COVID-19, influenza A/B and RSV testing can have on healthcare settings. The resulting push for more accurate and discriminatory methods to aid the management of patients presenting with respiratory and/or flu-like symptoms has highlighted the importance of developing a test panel that is both efficient and clinically relevant, says Dr Andrew Birnie.
Over the last few years, respiratory health has been placed firmly in the spotlight. We have all witnessed the toll that overwhelming caseloads of SARS-CoV-2, influenza A/B and RSV testing can have on healthcare settings, and this has resulted in a radical push for more accurate and discriminatory diagnostic tools. The diagnostics industry responded quickly to the initial crushing demand for testing during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and test providers now need to ensure that they continually evolve to address the needs of hospitals today and meet future threats.
Navigating the intersection of respiratory diseases
The world has now emerged from the depths of a pandemic that threatened to overwhelm healthcare systems worldwide. Novel vaccines and widespread public health measures have significantly curtailed the spread of SARS-CoV-2 but, at the same time, society has acknowledged that the virus is unlikely to be eliminated completely. Additionally, both domestic and international travel – as well as large social events – have been reinstated, resulting in a resurgence of influenza and RSV strains that, until recently, were either dampened by lockdown measures, or went unnoticed due to diminished public reliance on doctors and hospitals.1
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