Considerations in Point-of-Care Diagnostics
How will point-of-care diagnostics change clinical microbiology? ASM provides resources with educational opportunities and important considerations on implementing evolving technology.
A recent Bugs & Drugs post highlighted point-of-care diagnostics for influenza infection. Point-of-care diagnostics are quickly advancing in their abilities to diagnose many infectious agents, as highlighted in a recent American Academy of Microbiology report:
The report represents a meeting of clinical practitioners and diagnosticians who shared their expertise. Recognition for redesigned work flows, resources, and training was emphasized, along with a call for new regulatory oversight of novel tests as well as continued education on this evolving field. Individual tests, and their accompanying considerations, are highlighted, such as the following on the antigen test for influenza:
The role of speedy molecular tests on patient care was considered in a feature for Microbe Magazine, formerly the magazine for ASM members (Microbe Magazine was replaced by Microcosm in 2017). Author Bert Lopansri asks readers to weigh the increased costs and infrastructure requirements against the value added in rapid organism diagnostics. He also highlights the confusion of clinicians and clinical microbiologists when attempting to apply syndromic tools for gastroenteritis-causing microbes but receiving difficult-to-interpret results.
Feeling left behind by talk of molecular methods? Wondering what PCR primers and conditions have become standardized for accepted use? ASM's Molecular Diagnostics webinar course remains a valuable online resource. Watch a single topic presentation or the entire series, available until a year after the presentation date.