Instant Point-of-Care Testing

On-site and immediate, point of care testing (POCT) allows for instant accurate results under various conditions and in response to a multitude of medical or safety procedures. Point of care test systems have advanced rapidly in the past years and are utilized in both medical and non-medical settings. specializes in instant point of application testing and test kits. POCT tests can either be administered by the individual or by a test administrator. Commonly used self-administered POCT tests include pregnancy tests, blood glucose monitors, and flu tests. Along with tests commonly administered by another person, such as drug tests, COVID-19 tests, certain blood tests, and various other systems developed for testing and reporting different results. POCT testing and the suite of available products for POCT testing has broadened, which in turn enables the general populace or entities with particular needs a method to find results and answers without the need for licensed practitioners on-site or for time-delays. 

The primary specimen collections for POCT testing include saliva, blood, and urine. Specimens are collected on-site for diagnostic or investigative testing, results are easy to read and the tests are generally minimally or non-invasive. A certification to look for with POCT tests is the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waived certificate, CLIA waived tests are tests that have been certified for non-medical use in the sense that they are easy to use and the results are highly accurate without undue difficulty. CLIA waived POCT tests allow the test administrators and people engaged in POCT testing the assurance that the results they receive are accurate and may be relied upon. POCT testing is for immediate results in person, however many POCT test kits allow for laboratory verification of results if sent to a certified clinical laboratory. Along with CLIA waived tests that are eligible for off-site or besides testing, there is also a suite of non-waived CLIA tests that include test systems that are moderate to highly difficult. Within this group of non-waived tests, there are point of care tests with advanced difficulty for various conditions and testing purposes. The non-waived test must be administered in a licensed facility, however, the test itself may still be an instant-results test.

POCT applications allow for screening, investigative testing, and monitoring. Depending on the substances being tested for or the condition being tested for the test criteria may change and the system may be developed for different requirements. Test accessibility is the strongest benefit derived from POCT systems and development. POCT tests for individuals may be purchased or sourced online or in local pharmacies, and the test results are made readily available for the person conducting the test in real-time. Instant results lend data for informed decision-making. 

Drug Tests As Point of Care Tests

Drug tests exist for many reasons and testing for drugs and other substances also maintains various applications and functions. Oftentimes drug testing is seen and often is for investigative purposes. However, drug tests may be used for monitoring recovery, screening employees or people before certain activities or work, and self-testing. POCT is a common feature of drug tests, and the results of point of care drug tests are generally either positive or negative, indicated with lines denoting which occurrence the test finds. Drug tests depending on their design can either test for a single substance or a full panel of substances, all of which can be tested in a point of care setting with specimen collection that is non-invasive and easy for various personal and professional settings.

POCT testing will continue to develop and benefit the world. COVID-19 has accelerated the development and importance of point-of-care applications. The necessity of testing and treating large populations of people with relative speed and accuracy became a necessity under the strain of COVID-19 and will prove the concept and use of POCT as a practical technology. POCT application will enable medical and non-medical settings to adhere to safe operating procedures and the tests themselves will expand to test more complex conditions and will move into the forefront of medical treatment and monitoring.