The healthcare providers who are embracing integrated diagnostics today are at the forefront of a new era: balancing disease-centric and patient-centric care. Let’s travel along the patient-care continuum and discover how integrated diagnostics delivers better outcomes in actual practice.
When care begins by integrating biomarkers, molecular screening and imaging results to create a complete diagnostic portrait of a patient, more-accurate risk assessments can be made earlier, allowing clinicians and patients to collaborate in truly preventive medicine. Because most healthcare costs are incurred during treatment, using integrated diagnostics during prevention and early detection drives overall savings. With breast cancer, genetic panels can predict the risk of developing the disease based on genetic predisposition.
Getting integrated and interpreted information into clinicians’ hands at diagnosis can lead to increased efficiency, shortened length of stay and improved patient outcomes. In patients admitted to the ER with cardiac-related shortness of breath, the combination of BNP or NT-proBNP with cardiac echography helps to drive earlier diagnoses while providing valuable prognostic information.
As personalized therapy — based on a patient’s individual genetic information and imaging data — becomes more the norm, the most appropriate treatment can begin sooner, reducing side effects and avoiding delays. An HIV-infection diagnosis, for example, can be based on more sensitive laboratory immunoassays, while molecular diagnostic tests can help to determine the most appropriate treatment, based on the genetic information of the specific HIV virus involved.
Integrating laboratory and imaging results with a patient’s comprehensive diagnostics portrait is essential to patient monitoring and treatment management, and it reduces side effects and improves outcomes. In many oncological diseases — breast cancer, for example — the correct combination of serum tumor markers (i.e., serum HER2/neu, CA 15-3, CEA, BR 27.29) and imaging help to provide vital information for the patient’s ongoing care.