Sponsored Post, Devices & Diagnostics

The Covid-19 Pandemic Has Served as a Catalyst for Diagnostic Transformation

The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way we think of diagnostics in our daily lives. In a recent webinar, BD Vice President for Diagnostics Nikos Pavlidis spoke with a clinician and an epidemiologist where they shared their perspectives on how testing developments have changed the way we track respiratory illnesses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way we think of diagnostics in our daily lives. It has also led to innovations in detecting not only Covid but also other respiratory conditions such as influenza A+B and RSV, which could combine to intensify health risks for immunocompromised adult and pediatric patients as well as for people with high-risk conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, in addition to the elderly. In a webinar this month, BD Vice President for Diagnostics Nikos Pavlidis talked about some of these developments and how healthcare professionals perceive this cultural shift. Dr. Michelle Prickett, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and a pulmonary and critical care specialist, and Cindy Prins, a clinical associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida, also took part in the conversation. Prins observed that Covid has changed the way we think of infection control — which traditionally was anchored to a hospital, and now is used in new care settings, communities and other spaces to enable more people to stay safe. She also added that it has transformed public health. “From the public health point of view, I think about surveillance. We want to know what are the levels of illness that are circulating in our communities. It’s not something that we’ve always been able to find out,” Prins said. “Understanding how many people are affected by a certain virus helps us plan, it helps us inform people, and educate them about it. It helps us just think a little bit more about prevention methods as well as the treatment methods. So, I think that’s another critical aspect of having these platforms where you can do multiple types of tests and get these really rapid results.” Prins added that diagnostic testing is making it easier to get a lot more information to begin to understand coinfection of viruses and how that affects people.
Another facet of Pavlidis’s role at BD is determining how to optimize and maximize the impact of diagnostics across different care settings. He highlighted how BD’s testing platform, the BD Veritor Plus System*, is making testing easier.
“Simple collection is one of the key elements that comes into a complete system when you think about the ease of use. In the case of the BD Veritor Plus System and its combination test for flu A/B and Covid, that’s an element that makes it very simple.” Pavlidis explained that healthcare professionals collect a single specimen and then have an easy workflow to inoculate the specimen and add it to a cartridge. “The cartridge goes on the BD Veritor Plus System, and this is a system that takes about 15 minutes to deliver a result. We deliver three specific results for flu A, for flu B, and for SARS-CoV-2, and we’ll give a definite answer for each one of them – if it’s a positive or negative. So that makes it very simple when it comes to the interpretation.” Pavlidis added that the testing system is designed to be used with its informatics tool, BD Synapsys, which can expand the reporting capabilities of the system. It can simplify reporting of data, which can be used both for disease monitoring, surveillance, and epidemiology. As an intensive care unit doctor, Prickett was one of the first physicians that took care of confirmed Covid-19 cases at Northwestern. Prickett also sees patients in outpatient settings. She said the challenge of combating influenza A + B, RSV, strep and Covid simultaneously is that because the symptoms are similar it can be alarming to patients. Rapid diagnostic tests such as the BD Veritor™ Plus System provides a quick, effective way to narrow down the options. “Clinically [these viruses] do present very similarly, but the treatments are all very different. So, it’s really nice for patients because many of my patients now say, ‘Oh, I did a home test. I’m not this and I’m not that.’ That helps me to understand what this might be and what might be the best treatment for that patient.” * This product has not been FDA cleared or approved but has been authorized by FDA under an EUA for use by authorized laboratories. This product has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and influenza B, not for any other viruses or pathogens. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated, or authorization is revoked sooner. To access a recording of the webinar, please share your details in the form below.
Photo: santima.studio, Getty Images