There are an estimated 1,000 blood draws each minute in the US, most of which are taken in the clinic or at a medical facility so that the sample can be promptly prepared and tested. However, there is a significant trend toward decentralized diagnostics and sample collection to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of healthcare worldwide.


What is driving the shift to decentralized diagnostics?


This trend toward remote sample collection and testing is influenced by several factors including:


Improving access to care and patient monitoring


Another driver in the move to point-of-care sample collection and testing is providing healthcare to millions of people who live far from medical facilities.  Time away from family and jobs is burdensome, especially for those who live far from medical facilities and for those living in resource-limited environments where there is less (or no) access to medical care.


Convenient at-home self-testing can be a game changer for patients requiring regular blood tests to follow disease progression, re-emergence of a disease state, or medication efficacy.


Streamlining clinical trials


Another driver of decentralized collection and testing centers on the administration of clinical trials.  Site-centered clinical trials – in which clinical trial subjects are either housed in a facility or regularly visit the site for administration and monitoring – are being replaced with virtual clinical trials which employ point-of-care sample collection and testing.  There are many benefits to this transition including reduced costs, easier enrollment, and enabling a larger, and more diverse participant population to be recruited.

70% of clinical trial subjects live 2 hour or more from nearest siteDecentralized clinical trials are a major advantage for those who live in rural areas or far from clinical trial sites. 70 percent of potential clinical trial participants in the United States live more than 2 hours from the nearest clinical trial site. Removing the need for site visits dramatically expands the pool of potential trial participant. This trend is likely to continue even after the health risks of the COVID 19 pandemic are minimized with the deployment of effective, safe vaccines and therapeutics.


Bringing sample prep to the point-of-care


Sandstone’s family of Torq products enable new decentralized diagnostics by bringing critical sample prep methods to the point-of-care. Blood samples should be centrifuged within 1 to 2 hours for many plasma and serum based tests. With Torq, samples can be centrifuged immediately and effectively wherever the blood sample is collected.

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