Historic Developments

Before clinical laboratories evolved in the late 19th and 20th century, simple laboratory testing was performed next to the patient, such as organoleptic analysis (perceived by a sense organ) of body fluids and excrements. An archaic example of POCT from ancient times is tasting the patients' urine to analyze the presence of glucose indicative of diabetes. With the beginning of modern clinical chemistry centrally located laboratories emerged, and later laboratory testing transformed medicine fundamentally when it became available on a broad scale and even more so as it became automated. The trend toward miniaturization, portability, and simplicity of use in combination with the advance of a black-box technology is again changing medicine fundamentally,1-3-1 allowing personnel who do not have intensive training in laboratory medicine or molecular biology to run moderately or highly complex analytical tests. This will result in some reembodiment of laboratory testing in the primary healthcare provider's hand, but in contrast to prelaboratorian times, the personnel will be equipped with the finest technology on the market.

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