Point of Care Testing
“Near Patient Testing (NPT) and Point of Care Testing (POCT) are used to describe analytical procedures performed for patients by healthcare professionals outside of the conventional laboratory” – Institute of Biomedical Science
“Testing that is performed near or at the site of a patient with the result leading to possible care of the patient” – [ISO 22870:2006]
- In the last decade POCT has increased rapidly in popularity as the proliferation of technology has increased to meet demand. This technology boom looks set to continue as the private sector continues to feed the market with smaller, more reliable and an ever increasing range of testing equipment available to use outside the conventional laboratory setting.
Like many expansions in technology, prices are becoming more affordable with equipment becoming more versatile and easier to use.
Self-management and the use of off the shelf products have now become common place in the diagnosis of pregnancy, self-monitoring of diabetes, smoking cessation and diagnosis of infectious diseases such as chlamydia.
The NHS has been taken a cautious approach to embracing this technology in comparison to clinicians in the United States. The vast majority of POCT equipment is manufactured in the States.
“The global point-of-care (POC) diagnostics market reached $13.8 billion in 2011. It will further grow to $16.5 billion in 2016”
Source: BBC Global Market Research