Flu tests are going high tech and they're getting faster more accurate results.
Roche Diagnostics has developed the cobas Liat PCR system. It's a three step process where a nurse or clinician can do a quick swab of a patient's nose or throat and in twenty minutes get a firm diagnosis of either flu strain a, flu strain b, strep or RSV.
"It's really easy," says Rhonda Paris, a nurse practitioner with Roche. "It's an easy collection and the patients can wait just twenty minutes."
"We're looking for, at a molecular level, whether or not the virus or bacteria exists," says Nathan Patton of Roche diagnostics. "Molecular based testing offers far greater sensitivity than traditional in office testing. And what it allows us to do is find the most finite levels of virus or bacteria within a patient. And as a result of that molecular technology, it allows you to amplify that many times over again, to be able to truly detect it with accuracy.'
Separate tests using the same technology can determine flu strains, RSV and strep. getting the correct diagnosis means the correct medicines can be administered. And less exposure to surrounding friends, co-workers and family.
Cobas Liat has been around for a several years but doctors are still learning about it. because of the lag, it may be patients who educate doctors about the test.
"I think the key is for parents to be empowered and to know that the test that's being used today in most offices may not be as accurate as you think," says Jenna Eup of Roche. "Until now they didn't have better options, so now they do."
For more information on the cobas Liat test click on the link below.