What is POCT?

Point-Of-Care Technologies (POCT)

Point-Of-Care Technologies are medical diagnostic tests performed outside the laboratory in close proximity to where a patient is receiving care. This allows health care providers to make clinical decisions more rapidly, conveniently and efficiently.

ACME POCT is focused on the development and translation of microsystems-engineered POCT technologies including microchip-enabled devices that include microelectromechanical systems (MEMs)-based sensors, microfluidics, and smartphone-based systems. 

Microsystems Technologies

The term “microsystems technologies” is defined as technologies that are enabled by microscale devices with characteristic feature sizes of <1mm and may be comprised of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, biosensors, microfluidic components, or even smartphone-based systems, and the data analysis thereof. These devices primarily use semiconductor fabrication methods for their manufacture, and as such these microchip-based systems are notable for their small size and power requirements, enabling the portability that is vital for POC testing. 

More recently, microsystems technologies have been employed to develop microfluidic technologies that enable the collection of microliter samples of fluid, such as blood, for downstream analysis. In addition, the advent of the smartphone, which is imbued with microchip technologies, has only enforced the fact that these now ubiquitous devices may function as microsystems sensors for medical applications.

Point Of Care Technologies Research Network

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) created the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) to drive the development of POC technologies through collaborative efforts that merge scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need, specifically the development and application of innovative POC, home-based, improved clinical laboratory tests, and testing technologies.  The goal of POCTRN is to develop technologies with clinical applications using a network model that enhances complementary strengths and builds multidisciplinary partnerships. ACME POCT is one of POCTRN's six Technology Research and Development Centers.