New Special Interest Group on point of care testing

Professor Mark Shephard (convenor) and Lara Motta (Secretary) of the Special Interest Group on Global Point-of-Care Testing at the Prague conference

Point-of-care testing (POCT) is a burgeoning new discipline of health service delivery that has particular application in the family practice setting. POCT enables pathology testing for markers of chronic, acute and infectious diseases to be conducted in a family practice during the patient consultation, with test results rapidly available for patient care and management. POCT is one of the fastest growing sectors of the pathology industry due to its convenience and accessibility for patients and the reliability and robustness of modern POCT technology. Did you know that tests such as HbA1c, lipids, electrolytes, blood gases, troponin, INR, CRP, white cell count with differential, haemoglobin, HIV, other STIs, malaria, dengue fever and many more are now available in POCT platforms?

At the recent WONCA World Council meeting in Prague in June of this year, a new Special Interest Group (SIG) on Global Point-of-Care Testing was approved. The SIG aims to provide a forum for WONCA family doctors from all countries to meet, discuss, learn about, promote, advocate and research the clinical utility and effectiveness of POCT. The SIG believes that POCT can provide WONCA with a new and innovative subtheme of service delivery, education, training and collaborative research activity.

Initial activities will focus on developing opportunities for family doctors to access educational information on state-of-the art practices for POCT, to participate in selected training and e-learning programs, to enable interested family practices to collaborate in POCT field programs, and to provide networking opportunities for family doctors at future WONCA Conferences through the organisation of workshops and/or symposia on clinical applications of POCT.

The Flinders University International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing (Adelaide, Australia) will act as the global administrative hub for the WONCA SIG on Global Point-of-Care Testing, with the Centre’s Director Professor Mark Shephard being appointed Chair of the SIG and scientist Lara Motta being Secretary for the Group.
 Photo: Different POCT devices for chronic diseases being used in a rural Australian health service

Interested family doctors can contact the Secretary Lara Motta ([email protected])

For further information see the SIG's page on the WONCA website or join the SIG via the WONCA website.