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Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network


Link to Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network -


Point-of-Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN) Center in Primary Care


A national "center-without-walls" for rapid transformation of emerging point-of-care technologies into commercially viable, clinically focused solutions for improving primary health care.

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. 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 health care.

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The Center for Future Technologies in Cancer Care focuses on the identification, prototyping, and early clinical assessment of innovative point-of-care technologies for the treatment, screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of cancers. A major aspect of this effort involves assessing early stage technologies in terms of clinical needs, market demands, setting appropriateness, and commercialization strategies. The integrated multidisciplinary team, consisting of engineers, clinicians, public health practitioners, and technology transfer experts, is currently evaluating technologies in various stages of development for suitability across a range of primary care and non-traditional health care settings.

Point-of Care Technologies Research Network

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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 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (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.

Each POCTRN Center performs the following functions:

  • Assessment of clinical and user needs to inform device design and further define publicly available clinical needs information
  • Evaluation of promising point-of-care (POC) prototype devices from the perspective of device performance and potential for clinical impact
  • Completion of clinical testing appropriate for the stage of development of the chosen prototype and the target clinical application, to facilitate translation and commercialization
  • Training and education of relevant stakeholders in the development and utilization of POC technologies, including technology developers, industry partners, practitioners and the lay community (as potential users)
  • Development of partnerships with industry and other stakeholders to facilitate commercialization
  • Utilization of Network collaborations as needed to achieve goals and increase visibility of point-of-care testing

Opportunities for collaboration with each Center can be identified by contacting the Center's Director or NIBIB POCTRN Program Director.

Additional information about The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and a link to Resources for Researchers, can be found on the NIBIB Home page.

POCTRN Centers:

Center for Point-of-Care Technologies Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Charlotte Gaydos, DrPH (Johns Hopkins University)\

Center for Future Technologies in Cancer Care
Catherine Klapperich, PhD (Boston University)

Point-of-Care Technology Research Center in Primary Care
John Parrish, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University)

For general information contact:

Tiffani Bailey Lash, PhD
Program Officer, Division of Discovery Science and Technology
Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network
6707 Democracy Blvd.
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20892
(301) 496-9321 (Phone)
(301) 480-1614 (Fax)