Everything You Need to Know about Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)

The common practice for medical tests is to send samples to the laboratories and wait hours for results.

Today, the need for faster test results has increased. Portable testing devices have been created so that readily available tests can be performed outside the laboratory. These innovations are called POCT or point-of-care testing devices.

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What is Point-of-Care Testing?
Point-of-care testing allows medical staff to accurately achieve real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes rather than hours. Point-of-care testing streamlines the diagnostic process using portable analyzers, ensuring that patients receive effective and efficient care when and where it is needed.

Point-of-care testing enables medical practitioners to make rapid decisions when diagnosing a patient or to monitor treatment response. The simplification of the testing process focuses on providing efficient and quality patient care.
The advancement of point-of-care testing also allows for real-time wireless transmission of results. It can upload results directly to the hospital’s database and the patient’s electronic medical record.

Types of Point-of-Care Devices 
POCT devices come in different forms. They may also differ from the frequency of testing and testing requirements based on their targetted cases. Various point-of-care devices may use basic dipsticks, be handheld devices, or even come as molecular analyzers for infectious diseases detection.
– Transportable Instruments
– Portable Instruments
– Handheld Instruments (blood glucose meter, nerve conductor study device)
– Testing Kits (CRP, HbA1c, homocysteine, HIV salivary assay)
The most common point-of-care tests are home pregnancy tests and blood glucose monitoring devices.

Where can you conduct Point-of-Care Testing? 
Point-of-care test devices are user-friendly and manageable. Some can even be operated by both trained medical professionals and non-medical users. These devices are also low-cost and easy to acquire, making them accessible and available for everyone.
Point-of-care devices can be used in different types of settings such as:
– Home Care
– Pharmacy
– Paramedical Support
– Nursing Homes
– General Medical Practices
– Health Clinics
– Critical Care Facilities
– Hospital Wards and Clinics
– Sports Clinics