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As a clinical geneticist I have been amazed at the speed of discovery over the past 20 years. The specific genetic causes of thousands of rare genetic conditions have been defined due to improvements in genomic sequencing, computing power and international collaborations to phenotype individuals with similar clinical features. This knowledge has resulted in an increased ability to make accurate molecular diagnoses which informs optimal treatment and clinical care, can remove the need for unnecessary investigations and informs reproductive decision-making. However for any given individual, this genetic testing can often take weeks or months before the initial genetic diagnosis is made within a family. Occasionally genetic information is required more quickly to define a clinical action.
For years point of care testing (POCT) has been a mainstay of clinical care, for example, in confirming pregnancy or monitoring blood glucose. I had been keen to explore scenarios where a genetic POCT could be employed in clinical practice. To me, an obvious example appeared to be neonatal testing to avoid gentamicin-induced hearing loss. Here was a situation where we had known about the genetic …
Funding This study was funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.