Critical to this shift towards more personalised and preventive care is in vitro diagnostic testing, which examines various sample types from patients, including blood, tissue cells, saliva, urine and other sample types. This adds a powerful arsenal of tests that go beyond what diagnostic imaging or ultrasound can uncover. The wealth of information that can be revealed from a single patient sample is remarkable. The power of this knowledge to change behaviours, which can keep a person healthy and out of hospital, or help determine the optimal course of care or treatment, can be life-saving.
Diagnostic testing is also crucial in preventing the spread of infectious pathogens, as highlighted by the most recent COVID-19 pandemic. Without access to diagnostics, delivery of universal health coverage, antimicrobial resistance mitigation and pandemic preparedness cannot be achieved1. Testing additionally plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of the world’s blood supply.
Diagnostics are fundamental to quality health care2. From health screenings to blood safety and genetic testing, discover the value of diagnostics in disease prevention and putting the health back in healthcare.
Healthcare is undergoing a paradigm shift from “sick care” - damage control to restore lost health - to its original purpose, health. This newer model focuses on disease prevention. Besides helping patients by truly putting their health first, a proactive and preventive health model is key to helping achieve sustainable health systems by alleviating mounting resource pressures.
“The diagnostic process is a complex, iterative, collaborative activity with the goal of narrowing down the diagnostic possibilities and developing a more precise and complete understanding of a patient’s health problem.”
The Lancet Commission on diagnostics: transforming access to diagnostics3