4 | VALUE OF DIAGNOSTICS THROUGHOUT THE PATIENT PATHWAY | 2021
References 1 Berger D . A brief history of medical diagnosis and the birth of the clinical laboratory . Part 1 – Ancient times through the 19th century . Med Lab Obs 1999 ; 31:28 – 30 , 32 , 34 – 40 . 2 The _ Lewin _ Group . The value of diagnostics innovation , adoption and diffusion into health care . Health Care 2005 ; 214 . general public as a consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic . Testing has been used to identify both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients as well as to monitor localised outbreaks of infection and is even seen as a means of enabling the ‘ re-opening ’ of the world to international travel again . It is likely that there has never been such an unprecedented demand for IVDs that are able to detect the virus or the immune response caused by infection . The IVD industry has responded admirably to the challenge of developing a wide range of tests based on either polymerase chain reaction , serology or lateral flow antibody assays to detect antibodies to the virus . In fact , hindsight will probably reveal how the use of IVDs for COVID-19 has superseded demand for all other infectious diseases , with millions of such tests being performed . While the pandemic will end in due course , the value and utility of IVDs have been clearly demonstrated . Nevertheless , it is important that the industry makes best use of the momentum generated from COVID-19 , to keep the spotlight on IVDs and emphasise just how essential they are to modern medicine . Looking ahead , new avenues may continue to be explored to further highlight the capabilities and benefits to be gained from diagnostic testing .
The way forward The increased understanding of biological mechanisms and the identification of diseasespecific biomarkers , together with improvements in technology and the development of assays , have effectively led to a revolution in the use of IVDs in a wide range of therapy areas . IVDs have become indispensable to all aspects of modern medicine and the current COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight their vital role . Diagnostic tests influence improved health outcomes through the care continuum ( screening ; diagnosis ; prognosis ; stratification ; and monitoring ). Some of the most important developments have occurred within the hospital setting . Furthermore , advances in technology have resulted in many previously manual systems now becoming automated , reducing the hands-on time and increasing laboratory testing capacity and throughput . While innovations with IVDs have proved to be of enormous benefit to both clinicians and patients , it is important to emphasise the importance of the clinician – laboratory staff interface . Laboratory personnel are the experts in the use and interpretation of diagnostic tests . They possess the skilled knowledge and understanding of the optimal diagnostic tests required to ensure maximal impact on patient care and to ensure cost-effectiveness to preserve healthcare resources . It is therefore crucial that healthcare systems incorporate members of laboratory staff into clinical teams . Expert clinical laboratory staff can make a significant contribution to clinical effectiveness and improvements in patient outcomes through a diagnostic stewardship approach that combines educational advice on the optimal use of laboratory tests and clearly delineates where IVDs should be incorporated in the patient pathway .