Point-of-care testing (POCT) refers to a form of medical testing conducted at or near the patient’s location. These compact, portable, and user-friendly devices offer swift results, making them well-suited for implementation in various settings, including emergency rooms, physicians’ practices, and even patients’ residences.
Nucleic acid testing (NAT) is a branch of molecular diagnostics that identifies specific DNA or RNA sequences. This highly precise and sensitive technique enables the diagnosis of an array of ailments, encompassing viral and bacterial infections, as well as cancer.
Molecular diagnostics, a field within medicine, employs molecular biology methods to identify and monitor diseases. This approach facilitates the detection of distinct genetic mutations, alterations in gene expression, and protein markers.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) represents a form of molecular diagnostics that amplifies minute amounts of DNA or RNA into more substantial quantities. This process enables the detection of even trace amounts of genetic material and is used extensively in a range of molecular diagnostic tests, including NAT tests.
GBDS standards, developed by the Global Biological Standards Initiative (GBDS), are aimed at improving the global quality and standardization of biological practices. These standards are employed in various molecular diagnostics tests, such as NAT and PCR tests.
Several examples of POCT devices utilizing NAT or PCR technology include Abbott ID NOW, capable of diagnosing COVID-19 in just 15 minutes, Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2, diagnosing COVID-19 in 45 minutes, and GenMark Dx ePlex COVID-19 Panel, capable of diagnosing COVID-19 and other respiratory infections in 2 hours. With technological advancements, an array of POCT devices are anticipated to emerge, facilitating rapid and accurate diagnosis of diverse ailments.