Point of care testing - is it the way of the future? Dr Tarim Sadiq (St. George's University of London) Spoke about new POC testing technologies currently used and some that are in the pipeline of development.
Dean street Clinic in London are currently utilising the GenXpert POC tests where results are available in 90 minutes. However most clients do not want to wait in the clinic for 90 minutes. Available now and with more in the pipeline are a new generation of POC tests where results will be available in under 30 minutes. Meaning that clients can receive treatment at the initial consult if they have a positive test result.
In the not to distant future POC tests that can test for CT. NG. MG and TV will be available. And resistance testing for NG and Macrolide resistance in MG will be available in the POC Tests also.
So what are the barriers to implementation of POC tests. And is there a space for their use in Australia.
Firstly the COST - In Australia in the sexual health clinic setting we have access to tertiary hospital laboratories. Do we need to outlay more money for POC tests to be available in the clinic setting?
And what are the public perspectives in relation to POC testing - are they open to the idea of using POC tests or do they want conventional laboratory tests thinking they are more accurate?
The talk at the conference is that POC tests are the way of the future, How we integrate them into our practice is another question.
The exciting thing that I believe comes from POC testing is that resistance testing for STIs will be available quickly meaning the right medication can be used first go.