In the January issue of Clinical Lab Products, Robin Patel, M.D., was interviewed for the article, "Rapid molecular diagnostics: Better tests, better care." The article discusses advances in molecular testing at Mayo Clinic.
According to Dr. Patel, "The field is continuing to evolve in ways that profoundly benefit patients. But change is not coming in great leaps and bounds. Rather, it’s gradual and incremental."
Specifically, Dr. Patel refers to the development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a major initial driver of these changes, in addition to nucleic acid amplification techniques, which have also played a key role in the successful management of some of the ‘newer’ infectious agents—including HIV and hepatitis C virus.
With recent advancements in molecular diagnostics, Dr. Patel said, "Viruses can be detected in a day—and in some cases, in about an hour—greatly reducing the several days or longer required to obtain results using cell cultures."
Dr. Patel also discusses the future of molecular testing, moving from the laboratory to point-of-care locations or even, in the distant future, to patients performing their own tests.