If you don’t know the usefulness of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) in the clinical or research setting, then you are in for a life-changing surprise. Information is power, and being able to control the speed of information transfer gives you even more power. This is why the ability to make a diagnosis in the presence of the patient, shortly after obtaining the biological sample, is paramount in the delivery of quality medical service. A clinician’s decisions are only as good as the information she has to base them on. The faster she can get accurate information, the more time she has in making good decisions that are executed right in time.
1. Quick Results
IVD rapid tests can produce results within minutes of exposing the sample. This speed is of the utmost importance during emergency situations, and is also highly convenient in busy clinical settings. What if the patient is unconscious? What if the patient can’t speak? What if the patient doesn’t speak English? The ability to get instant results makes diagnostic decisions tremendously easier on the clinician, which is good for the patient.
2. Multiple Tests at the Same Time
In vitro diagnostic testing has the added advantage of allowing multiple different markers to be detected at once. This is particularly advantageous when screening for the presence of drugs in a patient. Testing for the presence of multiple drugs allows the clinician to make crucial decisions about medications to give or not. Multi-test devices also have the advantage of testing for the same drug but at varying concentrations.
3. Customizable to Detect Different Chemicals
In vitro diagnostics are often customizable or can be requested to detect specific markers. This means that clinicians have a large selection of chemicals that can be detected. This chemical can be in the form of a biologically produced molecules, such as hemoglobin in red blood cells, or a synthetic narcotic such as heroin.
4. Ease of Recording the Data
In vitro diagnostic kits often have very simple readouts, such as an indicator that gives a “yes or no” answer. This makes it easier for the clinician to process the information and record the information in the form of a photocopy, a scanned image, or a simple written notation of “positive” or “negative.” It doesn’t get easier than that.
5. Reliable Results That Can Be Quickly Repeated
In vitro diagnostics can be done, and then quickly redone to confirm the result. This is a tremendous advantage compared to diagnostic tests that require hours or days of turn-around time. Furthermore, in vitro diagnostics can be done in the same location as the patient. This means no shipping and handling costs, or delivery complications. Snow storms, flooding, and even spontaneous road blockages have no effect on a IVD test that can be performed by a clinician who is standing right next to the patient.