Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network
The United States has the highest annual per-capita health expenditures of developed countries, yet its population still faces significant health challenges. Many changes to the system are being proposed to address current inadequacies. To respond to the needs of an increasingly unhealthy population comprised of individuals with multiple chronic conditions, one goal of these changes is higher quality care at reduced cost, with a shift in focus from utilization of specialized care for the treatment of late-stage disease to an emphasis on patient-centered approaches and coordinated care teams that promote wellness and effective disease management. The evolving healthcare system includes new delivery models in which primary care physicians and nurses are assuming more significant roles, with the patient more involved in decision-making and self-care. These changes require the development of inexpensive and easy-to-use medical devices and information sharing tools that provide timely health status information at the point of care.
To address these challenges, the NIBIB created the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) in 2007. POCTRN’s purpose is to drive the development of appropriate point-of-care diagnostic technologies through collaborative efforts that merge scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need.
Each POCTRN Center performs the following functions:
- Assessment of clinical and user needs to inform device design and further define publicly available clinical needs information
- Evaluation of promising point-of-care prototype devices from the perspective of device performance and potential for clinical impact
- Completion of clinical testing appropriate for the stage of development of the chosen prototype and the target clinical application, to facilitate translation and commercialization
- Training and education of relevant stakeholders in the development and utilization of POC technologies, including technology developers, industry partners, practitioners and the lay community (as potential users)
- Development of partnerships with industry and other stakeholders to facilitate commercialization
- Utilization of Network collaboration as needed to achieve goals and increase visibility of point-of-care testing
Opportunities for collaboration with each Center can be identified by contacting the POCTRN Program Director, Tiffani Lash.