The lithium POCT method had already been validated by others previously, and in our user pilot it proved to fulfil a need among psychiatrists and their clients, both as a POCT test in the hands of the healthcare professional and as a self-test under (co)direction of the patient. However, the supplier, Medimate, went bankrupt shortly after the pilot.
Medimate has since made a new start and has reintroduced its lithium POCT method to the market. GGz Breburg recently decided to structurally purchase and deploy lithium POCT. Due to the lack of open access connectivity of the device, we chose not to take part in quality assurance for the time being.
In 2021, we will continue our POCT cooperation with GGz Breburg. After successful validation of some other POCT tests, we will prepare a new user study.
Lithium has been an effective stabilising drug in patients with manic-depression for many years. Lithium, however, has a narrow therapeutic window. A level that is too low is ineffective and can lead to dangerous, disruptive situations. A level that is too high can cause serious side effects. Additional conditions, such as chronic kidney damage and acute disease, can also affect blood levels. Regular standard checks and additional, indicated checks are therefore of great importance.
However, the many, regular, venous blood sampling procedures demand a great deal from the already vulnerable patient. Therapy compliance therefore leaves much to be desired. Psychiatrists also need a quick test result so that they can adjust the treatment as quickly as possible if necessary.