Point-of-Care Technologies for Health Care

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2011 Mar;58(3):732-5. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2011.2109251. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


The increasingly global focus on health care issues continues to underline the importance of point-of-care technologies and their ability to provide cost-effective solutions that address many unmet health care needs. Further, the current crisis in health care costs has critically underscored the need for research and development into highly effective, but low cost means of delivering health care. With a focus on providing clinically actionable information at or near the patient, point-of-care devices provide clinicians with information that is critical to the management of patient care while they are still with the patient. Rapid information results in various advantages for POC testing in different kinds of health care settings. In primary care settings in developed countries, the shortened timeline between testing and availability of results reduces the need for extra office visits or follow-up phone calls to convey testing results and adjust clinical intervention. This strategy can reduce cost and increase access of otherwise underserved populations to medical care. For diseases that are infectious, such as sexually transmitted infections or respiratory diseases, POC testing can facilitate treatment modalities quickly, thus preventing further spread of the infection for better and timely clinical management. In acute care settings, timely access to diagnostic information is most critical for providing an effective medical response. In disaster settings, POC diagnostics can speed triage and enable rapid establishment and delivery of medical services.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Point-of-Care Systems*