In Infectious Disease Testing, Flexibility Is the Common Theme
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In Infectious Disease Testing, Flexibility is the Common Theme

March 29th, 2018 / Christine Valle

Clinical labs that can adapt quickly will produce the best results

In Infectious Disease Testing, Flexibility Is the Common Theme

With the constant pressure to deliver quick, actionable, and cost-effective results, clinical labs need as much flexibility as possible. To understand how the latest diagnostic developments are enabling this flexible testing approach, check out this new perspective article in Diagnostics World from Erin McCombs, our Senior Director of Global Product Marketing for molecular diagnostics.

“Today’s infectious disease tests must do more than ever before: deliver rapid results, detect antibiotic resistance markers, address cost and reimbursement complexities, and allow for the fast development of entirely new assays,” McCombs writes.

Flexibility to Choose Makes a Difference

The article goes on to dive into each of these topics in more detail. Diagnostics are at the front lines of the battle against antibiotic resistance. While culture-based tests take “too long to yield results in a medically actionable time frame,” McCombs points out, “nucleic acid-based tests deliver the necessary information faster, reducing the time to establish resistance profiles by as much as two days, allowing for more informed decisions about treatment for each patient.” Having the flexibility to choose tests with faster results allows lab teams to make a difference for patients.

When it comes to multiplexing, flexibility is important not just for clinical results but also for reimbursement needs. “The advantage of multiplexing is closely tied to a disadvantage of reimbursement: many insurers view multiplex tests more as screening, rather than diagnostic tests, and therefore limit coverage of them,” McCombs writes. “A pathogen-specific test may be the best (and best-covered) choice for an average-risk patient with a fairly straightforward infection, while a broader panel-based test might be the best choice for a transplant patient whose infection defies easy diagnosis.” She describes a flexible testing option that allows clinical labs to test many pathogens but choose which ones to report, paying only for the results they view. If the first selection of results doesn’t provide an answer, teams can unmask more results without having to rerun the test, making this model affordable as well as fast.

McCombs also considers opportunities to work with different types of test — both IVDs and LDTs. “Some platforms now allow medical technologists to run both IVDs and LDTs on the same instrument, both increasing a lab’s flexibility and reducing the time required to design new lab-developed assays,” she notes.

Click here to read the complete article.

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In Infectious Disease Testing, Flexibility Is the Common Theme