Appropriate uses of rapid rests

Rapid diagnostic tests can effectively be used for several purposes:

  • Diagnosis - rapid tests can be used to identify, confirm, or rule out disease in symptomatic patients.
  • Patient Management - rapid tests can be used to accurately prescribe therapeutic drugs and to monitor treatment.
  • Epidemiology - rapid tests can be used to detect and monitor the incidence or prevalence of disease for targeting and evaluating health programs.
  • Screening - rapid tests can also be used in case-finding to determine the prevalence of disease in asymptomatic individuals.

The specific performance requirements of a test will vary depending on the intended use or uses.

When considering whether or not to use a rapid diagnostic test in a particular setting, it is important to consider the following:

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