It’s about time healthcare workers did more point of care testing in rural and remote Australia
There is much written about the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than three times more likely to have diabetes or prediabetes than other Australians.
According to a review by Edith Cowan University, diabetes is the second most leading underlying cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Diabetes can lead to problems including
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Eye Damage
- Vision Impairment
The HbA1c test has been described as perhaps “the most effective method to identify patients with undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes,” in the Annals of Family Medicine.
One of the American authors of the study, Heather P. Whitley told Medscape Medical News, “Where we have such a heavy prevalence of diabetes, we need to be thoughtful and aggressive in screening.”
The use of the point-of-care machine enabled diagnosis in a timelier manner than if a lab was involved.
“You get the results in a few minutes; then you can implement something to improve that care during that visit,” Dr Whitley said.
It’s been noted by Diabetes Australia that there may be as many as 500,000 people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in Australia.
The A1cNow device is a battery-operated handheld analyser used with test strips. The device displays clear instructions and no training is necessary. The device enabled patient-centred care in remote settings and is helping put Aboriginal health into Aboriginal hands.
- A1cNow+ Test Kits are available for purchase from POCD.
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