Faster results at the POC mean faster treatment decisions to patients around the world.1
Diagnostic laboratories are centralized, specialized facilities, with expensive equipment that needs regular maintenance and highly trained staff.2
The World Health Organization has called for new diagnostic tests that can function in areas with little access to a central laboratory.3
Before a POC device can be marketed or sold, it must be cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the appropriate country.4
POC devices are often a miniaturization of laboratory instruments and procedures.5
Many POC devices are CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) waived and may be run in laboratories as well as any setting with a CLIA certificate of waiver.6
POC test results are available immediately for medical decisions vs. laboratory test results, which could take hours or days.7
Aid in diagnosis of disease
Screen populations to identify diseases
Aid in predicting risk of an adverse event or anticipate course of disease
Monitor progression of disease and alter clinical management
Patients who received rapid HIV testing were almost twice as likely to receive their follow-up results than participants who received standard testing.10
HIV patients tested with POC device received antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment at 14 days compared to 144 days for the traditional lab.11
only 68% of the patients with diabetes had HbA1c measured. 6 months after the introduction of POC HbA1c testing, this metric increased to 95%.12
POC testing can reduce Emergency Department wait time for test results by 30 to 50 minutes in cases of stroke and 102 minutes in cases of pulmonary embolism.13
Use of POC urine drugs of abuse tests in the Emergency Department decreased length of stay 27% compared with central laboratory testing.13
Heart failure patients who received a POC test at the hospital had their length of stay decrease from 11 to 8 days.7
1. Drain, Paul K et al. Diagnostic point-of-care tests in resource-limited settings. Lancet Infectious Diseases (2014)14: 239-249.
2. Peeling, RW and Mabey, D. Point-of-care tests for diagnosing infections in the developing world. Clin Microbiol Infect. (2010)16:1062–1069.
3. Kettler H, White K, Hawkes S. WHO/TDR, Mapping the landscape of diagnostics for sexually transmitted infections. 2004.
4. DuBois JA. The role of POCT and rapid testing. Here is an overview of an evolving approach to direct patient care. MLO Med Lab Obs. (2013) Sep;45(9):18, 20, 22.
5. Ralf Junker, Harald Schlebusch, Peter B. Luppa. Point-of-Care Testing in Hospitals and Primary Care. Dtsch Arztebl Int. (2010) 107:561–567. Published online 2010 Aug 20. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0561
6. Wagar, E.A., et al. Point-of-Care Testing: Twenty Years’ Experience. Lab Medicine. (2008) 39:560-563. . DOI: 10.1309/9R9Y0V68Y3BA0KDN
7. Mueller C, Scholer A, Laule-Lilian K, et al. Use of B-type natriuretic peptide in the evaluation and management of acute dyspnea. N Engl J Med. 2004
8. Urdea M, Penny LA, Olmsted SS, Giovanni MY, Kaspar P, Shepherd A, Wilson P, Dahl CA, Buchsbaum S, Moeller G, Hay Burgess DC. Nature. (2006) Nov 23; 444 Suppl 1:73-79.
9. Crocker, J. Benjamin, et al. Implementation of Point-of-Care Testing in an Ambulatory Practice of an Academic Medical Center. Am J Clin Pathol (2014), 142:640-646.
10. Pottie K, Medu O, Welch V, et al. Effect of rapid HIV testing on HIV incidence and services in populations at high risk for HIV exposure: an equity-focused systematic review. BMJ Open. (2014) 15:e006859.
11. Wynberg E et al. Impact of point-of-care CD4 testing on linkage to HIV care: a systematic review. Journal of the International AIDS Society (2014)17:18809-18815.
12. Veronica Egbunike and Sally Gerard. The Impact of Point-of-Care A1C Testing on Provider Compliance and A1C Levels in a Primary Setting. (2013) The Diabetes Educator 39:66-73.
13. Rooney, Kevin D and Schilling, Ulf Martin. Point-of-care testing in the overcrowded emergency department – can it make a difference? (2014) Critical Care 18:692-699
14. Lewandrowski, Kent, et al. Implementation of Point-of-Care Rapid Urine Testing for Drugs of Abuse in the Emergency Department of an Academic Medical Center. Impact on Test Utilization and ED Length of Stay. (2008) Am J Clin Pathol 129:796-801.