The value of timely interventions in emergency care: IVDs laying the groundwork for urgent care success

  • 3 minutes
  • Posted on 07.09.2023

The value of timely interventions in emergency care: IVDs laying the groundwork for urgent care success

Daniel White

Vice President Europe, Cepheid

As we have learned over the last few years, we cannot postpone reforms to our public health systems if we want to combat and prepare for future pandemics. As someone who has worked in the in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) industry for more than 25 years, I believe in the importance of setting high-quality standards for IVD tests and other medical countermeasures across Europe. After all, IVD tests are the cornerstone of the challenges faced by Europe’s public health systems. 

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that providing rapid and reliable results to clinicians and their patients is of the utmost importance. And I am proud of the role that the diagnostics industry played in dealing with this global health emergency. 

As an industry, we together rose to the challenge and brought to market fit-for-purpose tests, increasing production and fostering innovation to ensure coverage of upcoming variants. Yet the question is: how do we apply these learnings to keep our citizens safe? How do we better prepare our healthcare systems for future crises? 

Emergency care as a priority 

Knowing the power and potential of diagnostics, I believe their integration can lead to more rapid containment and reduce the burden on healthcare systems. This is ever so important as in the emergency care setting. Why? Protecting and improving patient care in the emergency setting is often critical for patient survival and next steps. 

Let me give an example: in the case of co-circulation of multiple viruses – COVID-19, influenza, and RSV – IVDs can alleviate pressure on already strained healthcare systems. How? By enabling hospitals to quickly triage patients for medical management and providing data to guide national responses. This, in turn, reduces the wait across the patient pathway by making informed decisions as early as possible, for the patient, and the clinical team supporting them. 

Currently, we face a lot of challenges with seamless care provision in emergency departments. Often, there is a lack of connectivity between the central lab and physicians on the ward, which can result in a delayed diagnosis. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to work towards an integrated system with access to information benefiting health professionals and patients. 

The IVD industry’s mission is to improve patient outcomes by enabling access to testing everywhere. Offering faster, more accurate answers is, and will always be, our ultimate goal. We pride ourselves in providing rapid and accurate diagnosis where the results are urgently required. Just think of trauma patients, patients undergoing transplant treatments and other vulnerable groups who can’t be exposed to second-guessing. Let’s start by putting in place proactive strategies to provide patients with the high standard of care they deserve. 

Winter is coming 

The strain on our hospitals is never as clear as during the winter season, a time during which protecting vulnerable groups and preventing unnecessary transmissions to reduce burden is essential. As we prepare for winter, we need to make sure the legacy of the tools used in the pandemic is utilised to provide the maximum impact on the patient pathways by providing the right diagnostics at the right time. Only then we can keep communities safe with the lowest chance of disease transmission. 

It is my firm belief that, by working together, we are ready to ensure high-quality standards for IVD tests for the next winter season. Prevention and early detection are the gateway to a safe, healthy, and resilient Europe. 

The next few years will be crucial in shaping our experience as healthcare systems users. IVDs and the information they can collect hold a critical position in this scenario. We need to act now and help hospitals implement solutions that will stop overburdening hospitals during the next winter season. 

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