This article was last reviewed on
This article waslast modified on 15 May 2018.

When your GP (or other healthcare professional) requests you have a blood or other type of pathology test it will almost certainly be transported to and analysed in a hospital laboratory using equipment that can analyse many different tests on the same specimen. The same will apply when you have tests done as part of a hospital visit or inpatient stay. The details of this type of laboratory testing are described at Where Lab Tests Are Performed.

But developments in technology have made it possible to analyse samples using much smaller equipment and these devices can be used by the patient or by healthcare professionals seeking to produce a result almost immediately as part of the consultation. This type of testing is often referred to as Point-of-Care-Testing (POCT) or occasionally as Near Patient Testing or Bedside Testing. POCT can occur at various locations including the home.