Pathology Testing at the Point of Patient Care: Transformational Change for Rural Communities

Mark Shephard, Sue Matthews, Corey Markus, Emma de Courcy-Ireland, Lauren Duckworth, Isabelle Haklar, Ellen Kambanaros, Tamika Regnier, April Rivers-Kennedy, Grant White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Point-of-care (POC) testing is an innovative and revolutionary in vitro diagnostic (IVD) technology that enables the real-time conduct of pathology testing during a patient consultation, facilitating immediate clinical action. When conducted under a quality-assured framework, POC testing is an essential diagnostic tool, and is now well embedded, in primary health care settings in rural communities around the world. POC testing helps bridge the gap in health equity access that exists in geographically isolated rural communities and empowers patients to invest in understanding and improving their own health literacy. Using POC testing networks for chronic, acute and infectious diseases that are currently operating in rural and remote Australia, this chapter explores the operational, clinical and economic benefits that POC testing can deliver, and the lessons learned that have contributed to continuously improved quality of POC testing service delivery. Investment in POC testing and infrastructure by Australian governments, both federal and state, has reaped significant rewards for patients in rural communities. Additionally, translational research in this field has provided insight into how POC testing can be successfully scaled up for broad application in low- and middle-income countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRural Health
Subtitle of host publicationInvestment, Research and Implications
EditorsChristian Rusangwa
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023


  • Point-of-care testing
  • Equity of access
  • Patient-centered care
  • Translational research
  • Scalability


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