AACC’s 26th International Symposium on Point-of-Care Testing (POCT), The Benefits and Challenges of Point-of-Care Testing Across the Clinical Spectrum, slated for September 21-24 in Copenhagen, Denmark, is designed to highlight the state-of-the art science and utilization of this indispensable patient care tool.

The 3-day symposium covers the use of POCT in a broad spectrum of medical settings, from emergency departments to intensive care units (ICU).

CLN Stat asked Lokinendi V. Rao, PhD, ABB, ASCP, FACB, who directs the University of Massachusetts Memorial/Quest Diagnostics hospital laboratories in Worcester, and who is moderating the session on POCT in the ICU, to explain the importance of POCT in the critical care setting.

Given how sick patients in the ICU are, he said, providers need access to rapid, reliable test results that they can immediately act on. Such test results, he said, are “very critical” for patient management and care.

In the session, POCT in the Intensive Care Setting, Rao will provide a brief overview of POCT in the ICU, then five other speakers will take the podium to drill down into many of the issues he raises. Craig Lilly, MD, chief of the ICU at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Boston, will discuss the utility of POCT for critically ill adults. “He will share information on what his ICU currently uses and what makes sense to use to provide better care for ICU patients,” Rao told CLN Stat. Lilly will also review current utilization patterns and define the importance of choosing POCT based on its safety and efficiency.

Arben Merkoci, PhD, of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Barcelona, will explore the use of nanobiosensors for diagnostic applications with a special emphasis on electrical as well as optical devices. Merkoci will focus on cost and efficacy for POC applications that are ASSURED (affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid and robust, equipment-free, and deliverable to end-users), Rao said, whether related to proof-of-concept or validated biomarkers with potential clinical applications.

Nathan A. Ledeboer, PhD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, will discuss the role of POCT in managing infectious disease in the critical care setting, specifically, the use of POC lactate in managing sepsis; POC molecular influenza assays; near-POC molecular meningitis assays; and near-patient molecular assays to detect sepsis agents.

Two speakers will present oral abstracts of their work: Tobias Volker, PhD, of LeukoDx in Jerusalem, Israel, on his study, “Diagnosis of Infection Utilizing Accellix CD64”; and Paul Holloway, PhD, of the Imperial College in London, on his study, “Evaluating a Novel Ex-vivo Point-of-Care Testing Device for Blood Gas and Electrolyte Measurement for Acceptance by the POCT Committee.”

“I am particularly looking forward to hearing about the current and future diagnostic POCT opportunities for this group of critically ill patients,” Rao said, “especially the availability of continuous monitoring of critical analytes with reduced blood volume requirements and accurate test results that can provide equivalent results to laboratory-based test results.”

He added, “This will be an exciting opportunity for attendees to get a complete picture of unmet needs and future developments in this critical area.”

The session is scheduled for September 22 from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Registration is now open.