What technology will revolutionise the point-of-care testing market?

In a recent Q&A interview, Clearstate’s global managing director, Ivy Teh, talks about the importance of new technologies in the adoption of point-of-care testing.

Ivy Teh: there are three technologies, which in my opinion, will revolutionise the point-of-care testing market, by enabling faster and more accurate diagnostics:

  • Syndromic/multiplex testing

Syndromic/multiplex testing in point-of-care settings can streamline diagnostics by simultaneously detecting multiple pathogens or genetic markers, allowing rapid identification of various conditions. This approach enhances efficiency, reduces turnaround time, and enables targeted treatments, improving patient outcomes and public health responses.

The use of syndromic/multiplex testing is particularly valuable in situations where rapid decision-making is crucial, such as in emergency care or infectious disease management.

If the accuracy, reliability and cost of this technology can be improved, it has huge benefits in helping to make faster diagnostics decisions and optimising processes at the primary care level, as it offers a simple test to detect multiple pathogens. 

This can further empower primary care providers (PCPs). Some of the new point-of-care (POC) molecular diagnostics (MDx) multiplex tests coming out have 30 assays and even specific multiplexes with more than 50 assays.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

I believe artificial intelligence is the next game-changer in point-of-care testing.

Artificial intelligence can revolutionise point-of-care testing by enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility. AI can analyse complex diagnostic data quickly, aiding in rapid disease detection and providing timely insights for healthcare professionals. 

Additionally, AI algorithms can improve the interpretation of test results, reducing errors and enhancing diagnostic precision at the point of care. This technology has the potential to streamline workflows, optimise resource utilisation, and ultimately improve patient outcomes in decentralised healthcare settings.

Most physicians see AI as a means to assist them with clinical decision support. Innovative POCT solutions combining connected health (tech that will link the tests results from self-testing or clinic based testing to hospital EMR and vice versa) with AI’s capability to help interpret the results and identify potential blind spots will be very attractive, especially in this post-covid era of severe healthcare workforce shortages.

  • Connectivity:

The covid-19 pandemic has shown us that self-testing and telemedicine combined can be an effective way to empower patients to take care of their own health and reduce the workload in the healthcare system.

Home tests will provide an initial screening at home, but will not replace laboratory testing.

The growth of at-home tests supported by telemedicine can help to triage patients who require symptom management at home and those who require more complex treatments. 

Moreover, with the high penetration rate of smartphones, data from point-of-care testing devices can be collected and managed more quickly, enabling clinicians to better monitor their patients in real-time..

Read the full interview ‘point-of-care testing: promises and challenges’. See more insights on point-of-care testing from Clearstate’s POCT hub.