As healthcare becomes more consumer-focused, the need for convenient diagnosis, monitoring, and screening tests is expanding worldwide. In some cases, technology has caught up; testing devices that are smaller, more portable, and easier to operate have been developed.
The market for point-of-care testing is estimated to grow 9.3% between 2013 and 2018. There are several reasons for this trend. Point-of-care tests provide results in real time, rather than in hours or days, so they can help you and your providers make faster, and hopefully better, decisions about your medical care. With results in hand during your consultation, you can receive immediate follow-up testing or treatments without returning for another office visit.
For example, if you are given a point-of-care test and diagnosed with influenza right away, your healthcare practitioner can explain why you don’t need antibiotics and instead treat you with an antiviral medication if it’s appropriate.