Laboratories are traditional testing points and pose the biggest competition to the point-of-care (PoC) testing industry. The assertion of these laboratories’ that PoC testing cannot match laboratory testing in terms of cost and accuracy severely curtails the growth of PoC technologies.
To counter this restraint, companies have to leverage the results of clinical studies on PoC along with the market performance of these devices in terms of providing results, which are as accurate and reliable as those obtained from laboratories. Further, PoC manufacturers must demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of these products to physicians and patients to get rid of such end user apprehensions.
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Although intensive research and development have helped add more tests to the PoC platform, researchers still face the challenge of carrying out the necessary and requisite number of tests from a single blood sample.
“PoC manufacturers will not find the going easy, as they have to meet different sample requirements and produce a device to measure all these parameters from a single sample,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sachin Thukral.
Manufacturers should adapt the PoC technology to handle a wide range of tests by combining multiple immunoassays in one cartridge. It is always a tough ask to get the right product mix of software, engineering, and chemistry for a multiassay platform.
Various technological advancements are assisting the creation of multi-assay platforms that can not only save time and provide reliable results but can also offer cost benefits.
Innovative devices such as glucose monitoring systems that are minimally invasive, or even non-invasive, and do not require any kind of patient preparation are likely to go a long way in popularizing PoC technologies.
These advancements make PoC testing painless and simple to perform and are a huge boost to the industry, as there is a huge demand for devices offering simplicity of operation. To meet this need, manufacturers have made consistent efforts to train ward personnel and ensure lab quality at PoC sites.
Moreover, with an increasing number of non-laboratory-trained users conducting the tests, there is a pressing need to make all PoC devices easy to operate, with the addition of friendly interfaces. Device manufacturers have to focus on the simplicity of design in right from the development and production stages to improve product value.
“PoC testing also helps provide better patient care by aiding physicians in making informed decisions during emergencies,” notes Thukral. “This benefit is further complemented by their ability to carry out multiple assays such as blood gases, electrolytes, chemistries, coagulation, hematology, glucose, and cardiac markers simultaneously.”
Manufacturers hope to develop PoC devices that offer a distinct cost advantage over the large and expensive laboratory instrumentation. They are also under pressure due to the soaring prices of healthcare tests to provide inexpensive, yet effective treatments.
PoC device manufacturers could promote instruments that provide results that are as accurate and reliable as those obtained from laboratories, while demonstrating their cost-effectiveness to physicians and patients. However, they can do so only by channeling substantial resources to research and development and develop devices that are accurate, reliable, easy-to- use and provide quicker results.
Advances in Point-of-Care Technology is part of the Healthcare vertical subscription service. It presents technology and application viewpoints, examines the emerging minimally invasive and noninvasive blood glucose monitoring solutions, blood gas analyzers with new tests, and rapid tests that combine the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The research service enables companies to align their positioning strategies to benefit from the emerging technologies. Executive summaries and analyst interviews are available to the press.
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Keywords in this release: point-of-care, testing, PoC, hepatitis C virus, HCV, human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, blood gases, electrolytes, chemistries, coagulation, hematology, glucose, cardiac markers, arterial blood gas, ABG, immunoassay