“Innovate around sample collection to accelerate Point of Care diagnostic device development,” say R&D experts

New Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic devices may enjoy a faster market journey if sample collection techniques receive more attention, according to Sagentia Innovation.

Experts at the R&D consultancy highlight shortcomings in capillary blood collection and enduring problems with urine sample collection as limiting factors for PoC diagnosis. In some cases, issues which adversely affect specimen quality can lead to incorrect or inconclusive results being generated. Advances in sample collection methods would improve the reliability of tests, facilitating quicker and more widespread market authorisation and uptake.

Companies that find ways to enhance sample collection could pave the way for more conditions to be routinely diagnosed in PoC or Point of Need settings, from respiratory illness to UTIs and STIs to cancer. Decentralising diagnosis is key to the ongoing democratisation of healthcare and puts patients at the heart of the ecosystem. 

Sagentia Innovation’s CTO Nick Collier has joined forces with Usability and Human Centred Design Consultant Simon Thorne to investigate how problems with sample collection might be tackled. Together, they’ve authored a whitepaper focused on the collection of blood and urine specimens.

Collier says focused innovation is needed to overcome the challenges associated with obtaining high quality specimens outside of clinical settings.

“Sample collection isn’t the main priority of diagnostic test manufacturers’ R&D teams but ignoring it can result in an efficacy gap that hinders progress,” he explains. “A potentially game-changing device might experience delays, or possibly never make it to market, because of issues with sample collection. However, focused innovation could deliver improved sample collection techniques which could unlock a new wave of PoC diagnostic potential. We’ve focused on urine and blood collection, but the same principle applies to other diagnostic samples too.”

The whitepaper, Sample collection and Point of Care testing, explores challenges that affect specimen quality and considers proven approaches that could address them. It also outlines theoretical concepts that could improve the patient experience and health outcomes while crucially keeping costs under control to secure its commercial viability. It’s available to download free of charge at /insights/sample-collection-and-point-of-care-testing.

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