Point-of-care-testing Proves to be Faster than Widely Used Laboratory PCR Methods for Testing COVID-19, Study Suggests

Feb, 2021 - By SMI

Point-of-care-testing Proves to be Faster than Widely Used Laboratory PCR Methods for Testing COVID-19, Study Suggests

According to a new study led by a group of researchers have suggested that Point-of-care-testing, in other words rapid bedside testing are faster in assessing suspected COVID-19 individuals with reduced time for results. These rapid tests enhance infection control, which further suggests that these tests might have clinical advantages over commonly used laboratory PCR procedures. Researchers suggested that in this interventional study on tracking SARS-CoV-2 testing, they found in the case of point-of-care testing (POCT), waiting hours for results was just 1.7 hours, whereas standard process of PCR testing in a centralized lab took 21.3 hours for the results.

In the study, research involved 1054 patients and tested them for SARS-CoV-2 using QIA-stat-Dx POCT platform. Researchers further suggests that testing suspected COVID-19 with the help of POCT platform will aid health-care providers in better management of cases and this can further reduce spread of infection spread within the health-care centers. Furthermore, less diagnosis time can tackle COVID-19, where treatment can be initiated immediately and rapid diagnosis cases allows patients to avoid assessment areas that will result in less need for decontamination of beds, and reduced staff exposure.

Dr. Tristan William Clark, lead author, stated, “Our findings are the first to suggest the clinical benefits of molecular point-of-care COVID-19 testing in hospitals, demonstrating reduced delays, bed moves, and time in assessment areas, which all lead to better infection control. We believe that molecular POCTs should be urgently integrated into care pathways to reduce coronavirus transmission within hospitals to prevent the next wave of the pandemic overwhelming health services around the world.”

Researchers concluded that there are limitations to the study, and further informed that POCT must should be carried out with trained staff and under appropriate infection control guidelines.

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