The measurement of natriuretic peptides (NPs), B-type NP or N-terminal pro-B-type NP, can be an important tool in the diagnosis of acute heart failure in patients presenting to an Emergency Department (ED) with acute dyspnea, according to international guidelines. Studies and subsequent meta-analyses are mixed on the absolute value of routine NP assessment of ED patients. However, levels of NPs are likely to be used also to guide treatment and to assess risk of adverse outcomes in other patients at risk of developing heart failure, including those with pulmonary embolism or diabetes, or receiving chemotherapy. Natriuretic peptide levels, like other biomarkers, can now be measured at the point of care (POC). We have reviewed the current status of NP measurement together with the potential contribution of POC measurement of NPs to clinical care delivery in the emergency and other settings. Several POC systems for measuring NP levels are now available: these produce test results within 15 minutes and appear sufficiently sensitive and robust to be used routinely in diagnostic evaluations. Point-of-care systems could be used to assess NP levels in the ED and community outpatient settings to monitor the risk of acute heart failure. Furthermore, the use of protocol-driven POC testing of NP within the time frame of a patient consultation in the ED may facilitate and accelerate the throughput and disposition of at-risk patients. Appropriately designed clinical trials will be needed to confirm these potential benefits. It is also important that processes of care delivery are redesigned to take full advantage of the faster turnaround times provided by POC technology.