Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats to global health, yet it is accelerated mainly by the misuse and unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. Most antibiotics are prescribed for respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in the primary care setting. Implementing C-reactive protein (CRP) point-of-care testing has been shown to safely reduce antibiotic prescribing in RTIs without impacting clinical measures such as rate of recovery or mortality.

Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), emphasises the importance of incorporating diagnostics into strategies for slowing the spread of AMR, saying: “Today, antibiotics are rarely prescribed based on a definitive diagnosis. Having rapid, low-cost, and readily available diagnostics is an essential part of the solution to this urgent problem.”

The benefits of point-of-care testing

Incorporating CRP testing during consultation has been shown to achieve a meaningful reduction in antibiotic prescribing, especially in subgroups with acutely exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in the elderly, with lower RTIs in nursing homes. Dr. Carl Llor, PhD, MD highlights in his recent article in Health Europa that CRP point-of-care testing could also slow the spread of AMR during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Digital connectivity is key

Connectivity within a point-of-care testing system is now making more medical data available through digital platforms than ever before. The use of information systems interfaced with point-of-care testing devices enable results to be transmitted immediately and automatically. This allows accurate and timely clinical decision-making, and reduces repeat orders, making the approach more efficient and cost-effective.

Advances in point-of-care testing devices mean that Abbott’s rapid diagnostics already have these capabilities integrated. A direct network allows the point-of-care testing device to transfer results to a centralised network, where healthcare professionals can access data directly, transfer and email results and manage patients seamlessly.

Point-of-care testing at speed

Over the past three decades, Abbott has been dedicated to providing the very latest innovations in point-of-care testing. The Afinion CRP point-of-care test provides results in three minutes and features:

■ an easy-to-use all-in-one cartridge

■ agreement with laboratory methods

■ no need for user calibration

■ minimally invasive finger-prick sampling

A platform to learn

One of Abbott’s recent interactive webcasts looked at how the consumption of antibiotics can be reduced in primary care settings, and the advantages of adopting CRP point-of-care testing to assist in this goal.

The full webcast includes presentations from an international expert faculty and patient advocate who speaks about her personal experiences in dealing with AMR. It also features country-specific perspectives and clinical case studies from across multiple disease areas.

With 30 years of experience, Abbott continues to offer leading solutions in point-of-care testing, including for CRP.

The Abbott educational platform myPOCacademy is an expert resource for healthcare professionals, providing a range of professionally accredited learning on point-of-care testing. Working with an expert faculty, content covers multiple clinical disciplines, including respiratory health, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

To learn about the platform you can watch an introductory video and register below.