For a long period, medical device giants have mainly risen from North America and Europe, notably Siemens in Germany and Abbott in the United States. But in recent years, some Asian companies have emerged, such as China’s Mindray and Wondfo. A few years ago, China, known for its affordable and fast medical treatment, issued a guidance for hierarchical diagnosis and treatment to treat minor ailment and chronic diseases in local primary hospitals and thus to ease the pressure on medical centers. Here arises worries about whether primary healthcare facilities can provide accurate and convenient chronic disease management for the public.
The point-of-care testing (POCT) has some distinct advantages of quick and easy testing and higher efficiency when compared to traditional equipment. Additionally, POCT equipment is relatively easy to operate and does not require much training.
Some of the categories in which POCT sees increasing use are infectious disease testing, lipid profile, hemoglobin testing, food pathogen screening, occult blood analysis, biochemical tests, pregnancy tests, urine analysis, drug abuse screening, rapid diagnosis of cardiac markers, electrolyte analysis, and rapid coagulation tests.
POCT tests are becoming increasingly accurate. Combined with the portability of equipment, they are poised to play a vital role in various healthcare settings.
POCT industry is going through rapid growth in China and globally. The growth rate of POCT in China has remained 20-30% per annum, which is much higher than the global growth rate of the industry at about 8%. Moreover, China is a significant supplier of POCT equipment globally.
POCT future trends
Despite remarkable growth, POCT is facing specific challenges. The ease of use and portability of equipment comes at a price of reduced precision. It means that the POCT industry would need to pay significant attention to improving the precision of their tests to match the accuracy of larger laboratories, and we have seen a dramatic improvement in POCT performance compared with lab tests. Take COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) for example. EU adopts a digital COVID certificate if a person has either: 1) been vaccinated against COVID-19 2) received a negative test result 3) recovered from COVID-19. PCR test in 72 hours or rapid antigen test in 48 hours accept for the test certificate.
In addition, POCT equipment gradually realizes the automatic processing of samples by the instrument, thereby reducing operator requirements and labor costs. Accre System—a series of PoC CLIA analyzers—are innovatively integrating excellence of Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (CLIA) and flexibility of POCT. With single-dose reagent cartridges, they avoid manual sample processing and require no extra consumables. What’s more, they enjoy both simple operation and reliable calibration and quality control systems.
Further, the utility of POCT equipment can enhance through connectivity. Therefore, there is a need to create connectivity standards and uniform interfaces to improve data management. Data management issues primarily arise from the poor connectivity of devices. Therefore, improved connectivity of POCT equipment provides healthcare staff with integrated patient data, allowing precision medicine possible.
Finally, chronic disease management deserves significant focus. Non-communicable chronic ailments have now emerged as a significant cause of mortality. However, what is worrisome is that chronic disorders cause considerable morbidity and disability.
Thus, the POCT industry needs to focus on early detection of cancers, management of respiratory conditions, diabetes management, cardiac markers, autoimmune diseases, and much more.
To conclude, as the technology improves and equipment becomes more compact, automated, and interconnected, the future of POCT seems bright. Not only will it bring advanced diagnostic tests to physician desktops, but many lab tests might also become readily available for home testing in the future.
To know more, check out Wondfo’s solutions.