Point of Care Technology (POCT) means acquiring clinical parameters from the place where the patient is, thus generating faster test results leading to a faster turnaround time. However, improvements in patient outcomes depend on how healthcare delivery professionals and system utilize faster turnaround times. Thus, POCT, by itself, does not lead to better clinical outcomes. Throughout the last two decades, advances in POCT have been impressive, but its impact on developing countries depends on the present healthcare infrastructure. Presently, in most developing countries, POCT is delivered in remote locations or Physicians chamber or Hospital setup of Emergency rooms, Operation Theaters, ICU. It is applied for therapeutic aid (for treatment of certain diseases like diabetes or myocardial infarction), preventive measures (for targeted screening in high-risk groups) or surveillance measures (monitoring of routine blood parameters). There are several challenges in implementing POCT like poor patient demographics, lack of workforce, training, lacking healthcare infrastructure, reluctance in physicians to accept new technology and certain technological limits. Although it may take time, solutions to these challenges will lead to a proper implementation of POCT in the developing nations. Further, integrating it with mobile phone technology will lead to higher acceptance and application. The boom of POCT will depend on the overall improvement and capacity building in the healthcare infrastructure of developing nations.
Keywords: POCT; developing countries; point of care tests.
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