Health care systems around the world are changing to improve access and quality, as well as seeking to contain costs. These changes are being sought against a backcloth of improvements in both diagnosis and treatment, and increased patient life expectancy. Health care delivery for the past few decades has become very hospital centric and with consolidation of facilities to manage increasing specialization of care, as well as promoting efficiency—including in the field of diagnostics. However, these latter developments have had an adverse impact on patient access to care, with increasing pressure on primary care.
Point-of-care testing technologies offer a means of improving access to diagnostic and monitoring decision-making—for clinician, carer, and patient. The opportunities for the use of point-of-care testing in primary care are discussed in the context of changes in health care delivery, from a UK perspective.
From the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Reprints: Christopher P. Price, PhD, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative Oxford. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health. The study sponsors had no role in the design, analyses, or reporting of the study. The researchers retained complete independence in the conduct of this study.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.