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The United States has the highest annual per capita health expenditures of developed countries, yet its population still faces significant health challenges. Many changes to the system are being proposed to address current inadequacies.

To respond to the needs of an increasingly unhealthy population comprised of individuals with multiple chronic conditions, one goal of these changes is higher quality care at reduced cost, with a shift in focus from utilization of specialized care for the treatment of late-stage disease to an emphasis on patient-centered approaches and coordinated care teams that promote wellness and effective disease management.

The evolving healthcare system includes new delivery models in which primary care physicians and nurses are assuming more significant roles, with the patient more involved in decision-making and self-care. These changes require the development of inexpensive and easy-to-use medical devices and information sharing tools that provide timely health status information at the point of care.

To address these challenges, the NIBIB created the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) in 2007. POCTRN’s purpose is to drive the development of appropriate point of care diagnostic technologies through collaborative efforts that merge scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need.


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The mission of the JHU Center for Point-of-Care Tests for Sexually Transmitted Diseases is to create and test unique methods for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases, including the home delivery of over-the-counter (OTC) tests to end-users via the internet. Additionally, our center will develop novel approaches for measuring acceptability and accuracy of point-of-care and OTC-type assays in primary care settings with comparisons between trained and untrained users.

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As the number of primary care providers diminishes and the need for primary care increases, there is an urgent need to increase the capacity of providers to care for more patients without a decrease in the quality of care and without unduly burdening the providers, patients, or their families.

Funded in 2012 for a five-year period by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN), CIMIT is creating a national “center-without-walls” for rapid transformation of emerging point-of-care (POC) technologies into commercially viable, clinically focused solutions for improving primary healthcare.