Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been linked to several life-threatening disease processes. Developing a point-of-care testing platform for the immediate and accurate detection of IL-6 concentrations could present a valuable tool for improving clinical management in patients with IL-6-mediated diseases. Drawing on an available biobank of samples from 35 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a novel quantum-magnetic sensing platform is used to determine plasma IL-6 concentrations. A strong correlation was observed between IL-6 levels measured by QDTI10x and the Luminex assay (r = 0.70, p-value < 0.001) and between QDTI80x and Luminex (r = 0.82, p-value < 0.001). To validate the non-inferiority of QDTI to Luminex in terms of the accuracy of IL-6 measurement, two clinical parameters—the need for intensive care unit admission and the need for mechanical intubation—were chosen. IL-6 concentrations measured by the two assays were compared with respect to these clinical outcomes. Results demonstrated a comparative predictive performance between the two assays with a significant correlation coefficient. Conclusion: In short, the QDTI assay holds promise for implementation as a potential tool for rapid clinical decision in patients with IL-6-mediated diseases. It could also reduce healthcare costs and enable the development of future various biomolecule point-of-care tests for different clinical scenarios.
Keywords: COVID-19; ICU; IL-6; Luminex; QDTI; diagnostics; mechanical ventilation.