The development of portable diagnostic point of care analyzers and other monitoring devices has resulted in timely, rapid treatment to the patient. These self-contained devices allow diagnoses to be made in the physician’s office, the home, an ambulance, in the hospital, and other settings. Patients no longer have to wait hours or even days for results to arrive from the laboratory.
Advantages of Point-of-care (POC) Testing
- Provides immediate results in a non-laboratory environment
- Expedites clinical decision making
- Helps in the prevention and early detection of disease
- Assists in the management of multiple chronic conditions
- Improves health care delivery
- Addresses the challenges of health disparities
POC diagnostics do not require complex infrastructure and training and are therefore ideal for use in lower cost settings.
POC testing covers blood glucose testing, blood gas and electrolytes analysis, rapid coagulation testing, rapid cardiac markers diagnostics, fecal occult blood analysis, food pathogens screening, hemoglobin diagnostics, infectious disease testing and cholesterol screening, urine strips testing, pregnancy testing and drugs of abuse screening.
A recent market research report points out that the growth of the POC diagnostics market is driven by factors such as the increasing incidence of lifestyle and infectious diseases, technological advancements, deceasing workforce in central labs, and rising usage of home-based diagnostic testing devices. The cardiac-markers market has been identified as the fastest growing segment. The report also says that major players such as Roche (Switzerland), Abbott Laboratories, Inc. (U.S.), Siemens AG (Germany), Beckman Coulter, Inc. (U.S.), and Alere Inc. (U.S.) are keeping pace with the evolving industry trends by adopting various growth strategies such as new product launches, partnerships, agreements, collaborations, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.
Quality POC Analyzers
Today’s POC analyzers are equipped with sensor technologies that allow the rapid analysis of blood samples for several critical care assays. Take the Abbott i-STAT 1. It provides reliable testing for blood gases, electrolytes, chemistries, coagulation, hematology, glucose, and cardiac markers – in just minutes, using only two drops of blood and a test cartridge. The Alere HemoPoint® H2 Meter provides fast, accurate measurement of hemoglobin levels, while the Bayer DCA 2000+ is a reliable fully automated point-of-care diabetes management platform.