The demand for the point-of-care test is growing with its increased contribution to patient care and physician efficiency. According to Kalorama, POC tests which help reduce healthcare costs as well as enhance patient care, constitute a growing share of the global in-vitro diagnostic market. In its report Worldwide Point of Care Diagnostic Test Markets, Kalorama projects the growth in POC to continue at 6 percent through 2014. This is stated to be propelled mainly by the rise in glucose self-testing by diabetic patients as well as its increased potential in the critical care and cardiac segments.
Getting the most out of POC testing requires the use of efficient POC systems. Innovative devices enter the market every day. For instance, take the Abbott i-STAT® 1. A new wireless version of the i-STAT® point of care testing system that is widely used in hospitals, emergency rooms and physicians’ offices, the FDA-approved i-STAT® 1 allows caregivers to share critical diagnostic test results directly from the patient bedside.
The ability of this innovative hand-held analyzer to transmit test results from the patient’s bedside immediately for review by physicians anywhere facilitates quick decision-making, thereby minimizing time to treatment. This is important when a patient’s clinical status is rapidly changing. The i-STAT® 1 weighs just 18 ounces and needs just two or three drops of blood to provide reliable lab results.
Of course, POC testing may not replace lab testing and should, in fact, complement each other. However, with the focus on lab equipment that improves efficiency and patient care while reducing cost, POC systems like the i-STAT® are all set to revolutionize healthcare service.