Recent advances in point-of-care (POC) and rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) technology have made it possible to accurately diagnose illnesses and assess environmental contaminants on-the-spot, at relatively low cost, and with few resources. Puritan Medical Products has several lines of sterile swabs and medical sampling kits that may be appropriate for RDT and POC testing.
Point-of-care diagnostics largely rely on emerging biosensor technologies1 which enable the rapid analysis of samples without access to a full laboratory. However, for point-of-care testing to remain effective, it’s essential the right tools are used to collect, transport, and preserve specimen before, during, and after POC testing.
Select Sterile Swabs for POC Medical Sampling Kits
Choosing sterile swabs is especially important for point-of-care applications2,3 where sanitation conditions may be less stringent than in a traditional medical facility. We manufacture a variety of sterile swabs (ranging in applicator tip-type from flocked, to polyester, to cotton) for POC testing.
Our sterile swabs can be purchased on their own or customized for inclusion in our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers’ branded POC medical testing kits.
Choosing Transport Devices for POC Testing
The CDC notes that high temperatures and high humidity can contribute to poor performance4 which is why it’s so important to choose the appropriate POC collection and testing products. Our line of dry transport tubes, in particular, may be suitable for many point of care applications.
Selecting the right tip type will depend on the specific application; but our dry transport tubes have a number of features that make them ideal for POC testing:
- Proprietary injection molded cap assures a precision fit for multiple handle styles, eliminating any foreign adhesive which may interfere with the specimen.
- Tubes include a distinctive label describing product identity, expiry date, patient identification and collection information.
- Labels act as a tamper resistant seal when attached to the cap.
- Our dry swab transport systems have a shelf life of three years.
- Color coded caps assist in inventory maintenance and configuration.
Why Point-of-Care Testing is So Important
Point-of-care and rapid diagnostic testing can be used to diagnose everything from influenza and strep throat to HIV and malaria. It’s also important for testing livestock and agriculture for contaminants, and to assess food safety procedures. Many point-of-care tests do not require access to water, or power, and can be performed without the aid of a doctor.
These new point-of-care technologies are proving incredibly important for the developing world. In fact, Diagnostics for All CEO Marcus Lovell Smith states that, “over a million lives per year could be saved if affordable medical diagnostics were available in the developing world.”5
Last year, Puritan Medical Products donated 3,000 polyester tipped swabs to Diagnostics for All, and we remain committed to developing and improving our POC testing tools as the technology evolves.
Want to learn more about which Puritan products to choose for your specific point-of-care application? Contact one of our knowledgable product specialists today.
1) Point-of-Care Diagnostic Testing. NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT). U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved August 11, 2014 from: http://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=112
2) Specimen Collection and Point-of-Care Testing: Accepted Practice: Wound specimen collection. ATI Nursing Education. Retrieved August 13 from: http://www.atitesting.com/ati_next_gen/skillsmodules/content/specimen-collection-new/accepted-practice/wound.html
3) Specimen Collection and Point-of-Care Testing: Documentation. ATI Nursing Education. Retrieved August 13 from: http://www.atitesting.com/ati_next_gen/skillsmodules/content/specimen-collection-new/documentation.html
4) Rapid Diagnostic Tests: How They Work. Malaria. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 11, 2014 from: http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/malaria_worldwide/reduction/dx_rdt.html
5) Message from Our CEO. Diagnostics for All. Retrieved August 11, 2014 from: http://www.dfa.org/our-vision/message-from-our-ceo.php