There is a rising interest in point-of-care (POC) testing. Many well-known agencies are funding the development of POC diagnostics for use on a global level. One of the greatest advantages of POC tests is their capability to improve the management of infectious diseases at the primary care level and in remote settings. An efficient point-of-care clinical chemistry system facilitates testing with the immediate availability of the results, making possible prompt diagnosis and timely clinical intervention, which in turn, leads to improved health outcomes.
The Abaxis Piccolo Xpress is an efficient biochemistry analyzer specifically designed for efficient POC testing. This compact portable clinical chemistry system features user-friendly touch screen commands for carrying out routine multi-chemistry analysis. Operation involves three simple steps:
- Collect and transfer 0.1cc of whole blood, serum or plasma to the single use plastic reagent disc which contains the dry reagents and diluent needed for a complete fixed multi-test panel.
- Follow the touch screen instructions. Put the disc in the analyzer drawer and enter the necessary information. Capillary and centrifugal forces will work to blend the sample and reagents in the disc. Results are provided in about 12 minutes.
- Read the results on the full color display. Results include patient demographics, chemistry concentrations, reference ranges, sample integrity indices and iQC.
The results can be printed or transmitted to an external printer, computer or LIS/EMR system. The Piccolo Xpress can store up to 5000 patient and quality control results.
Though point-of-care devices like the Piccolo Xpress are user-friendly and require no special training for operation, quality assurance and training are necessary before performing even simple POC tests. Moreover, healthcare facilities using POC testing systems must have proper programs in place for quality assurance, result reporting, notification of cases, and initiation of action of the basis of the test results. Only these measures can ensure the success of POC testing.