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Answering questions about antibiotics for the fast and the curious

Answering questions about antibiotics for the fast and the curious

We are genuinely curious. We are also living in an information age where our curiosity is fulfilled and rewarded instantaneously. So it’s natural that when it comes to issues related to our own health or those close to us, we storm to our smartphones or computers to learn more. 

As soon as we look up information and dig into topics, we become experts of medical expressions and phrases previously alien.  In the discussion surrounding resistance to antibiotics and the role of diagnostics in identifying the right antibiotic, it is now more important than ever to provide reliable information to patients and caregivers about their diagnostic tests. That’s why Lab Tests Online was developed.

Enter Lab Tests Online

Lab Tests Online is an information resource created for patients and caregivers to help understand the laboratory tests used to screen, diagnose, and monitor a broad range of conditions and diseases.    The award-winning platform was created by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and developed globally in partnership with the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association and scientific societies.   Available in 14 languages in 17 countries worldwide (including 12 websites in Europe), the content is also available as an app in three countries and in book form in China, where it is used to reach areas where access to technology may not be available.

Importantly, the purpose of Lab Tests Online has grown from being a platform solely to provide laboratory test information to a tool that encourages patient-doctor dialogue. The site is regularly updated with a screening guide, relevant news, and in-depth articles.  For example, Lab Tests Online receives direct input from users of the website on a daily basis via several online forms. Feedback from these forms is used to help guide and prioritise new developments as well as to improve existing articles.

The efforts of the Longitude Prize Committee in facilitating the creation of an affordable, accurate, rapid and easy-to-use test for bacterial infections within five years are of dire importance.  Similarly, increasing understanding of susceptibility tests used to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics should not be underestimated. 

As we continue to live in the ‘fast and curious’ age, the Lab Tests Online platform will remain a reliable resource, with the clear objective of educating patients by providing them with the information they are looking for—information that is reviewed by specialists, written in a language that patients can understand and available at their fingertips when they need it the most.

A version of this post first appeared at the launch of the Longitude Prize. Read original article

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