Every person has a unique genetic profile. Understanding and leveraging the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases empowers doctors to shift away from the one-drug-fits-all paradigm and tailor a treatment to the genetic profile of their patient, also known as ‘personalized medicine’. Specific molecular diagnostics tests can, for instance, tell a doctor what drug is the preferred therapy for a melanoma patient whose tumor carries a specific genetic mutation. Eventually, this makes treatments more effective, improves outcomes and ultimately reduces healthcare costs. However, in order to be truly sustainable and beneficial, molecular information needs to be gathered quickly and easily, at the point of need.
Today, this is not the case. Most hospitals do not perform molecular tests in-house, but send the test samples out to specialized labs where they are processed in batches, on multiple instruments and operated by highly trained personnel. This time-consuming and labor-intensive process delays treatment decisions which are often crucial to save patients’ lives.