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  • Sumeet Kaur Wasu

Diagnostic Services Post-COVID: A Study

The COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted the need for the transformation of pathology and laboratory medicines. During the pandemic, all the health workers and hospitals have faced unpredictable clinical, analytical, and organizational challenges. Successful adaptation was based on learning to act in the correct ways and set up new infrastructure to address urgent clinical care needs.

This response involved mobilizing academic and industry supporters to capture and quickly translate innovation into clinical/medicinal practice. Many services made multifaceted clinical and scientific contributions for patient benefit. For example, capacity testing gaps and urgent clinical care bottlenecks in managing admissions were addressed by dedicated high-throughput COVID-19 testing laboratories.

The severity of this crisis and increasing capacity issues associated with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based testing, accelerated the development of diagnostic solutions to meet demands for mass testing.

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How COVID-19 Changed Map of Diagnosis?

The covid-19 virus is a respiratory virus and in vitro diagnostic (IVDs) medical devices sit at the heart of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and decisions concerning clinical management. There are several classes of IVDs, including molecular and immunological tests, which is where much of the focus of diagnostic innovations have been concentrated during the pandemic Molecular diagnostics (MDx) developed for Covid-19, require swabs from the individual’s respiratory system specifically from the nose and tongue.

Swabs may be taken by the individual at home, but more often are taken by professionals, helping to ensure that a thorough sampling technique is used for better and more accurate results of the test.


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Contribution of Radio-diagnosis in COVID-19. How It Changed The Diagnosis Services?

In Radiology, the changes made due to covid-19 were Standard operating procedures for radiologic images, and procedures for patients who were suspected of having covid-19 were implemented. Portable imaging was also introduced.

Improvement of capabilities for remote interpretations (home or other places) in case of staff isolation or patient surge was also introduced.

When possible, imaging is performed at sites with less foot traffic and with fewer critically ill patients in that area to avoid secondary patient and staff exposure.

In radiology, the focus was on providing the ability for radiology faculty to work from home if needed for isolation.


The horizon scan methodology developed by the Innovation Observatory involved the identification of information sources that detected ‘signals’ for diagnostic technologies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The collection of things that were identified was systematically scanned and monitored for intelligence using a combination of traditional scanning methods (manual), automated and novel text-mining techniques.

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The Contributions Made...

We expect that contributions made during the pandemic will catalyze a shift in focus and mindset in our future approach to diagnostics and improvise with the ways mentioned above to be better prepared for such situations in the future.

The purpose is to cover faculty who become ill or are quarantined. Each radiology section has responsibility for sick coverage for their daily clinical services and on-call staffing, individual radiology specialty areas have created backup call schedules. Almost all radiologists have home picture archiving and communications system workstations and the use of remote interpretation has been incorporated into the system plan.

Teleconsultation and electronic smart appointment applications and counseling are being fast-tracked for implementation and will have a far-reaching impact on our future practice.

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Aligning with this vision will ensure that appropriate lessons from this pandemic have been learned. Planning for pandemic preparedness and tackling innovation in medical care needs optimization and acceleration in the field of technology and diagnosis.

 

References

  1. Dimitris. K, Lawrence. y, et al; Transforming the UK's diagnostics agenda after COVID-19; The Lancet; VOLUME 399, ISSUE 10335, APRIL 23, 2022. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00169-6

  2. Anna. O, Lucy. B, et al; Covid-19 - Impact on diagnostic innovations: Emerging trends and implications, MDPI, January 2021. DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics11020182

  3. Mahmud Mossa - Basha, Carolyn C Meltzer, Danny C Kim, Micheal J Tuite, K. Pallavi Kolli, Bien Soo Tan, Radiology Department Preparedness for COVID-19, DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2020200988




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