Value of Diagnostics
Diagnostic tests are an essential part of the health care process and provide critical information to physicians and patients. Diagnostics can help assess a patient's risk for disease, assist in the diagnosis of diseases, and help physicians determine what therapies or treatments are appropriate for a given patient. Not only can diagnostic tests improve health status and patient outcomes, they can also save health care dollars. In short, diagnostics promote early detection, which leads to more appropriate treatment, which in turn generates better medical and economic outcomes. For example, although diagnostics comprise only a small portion of total hospital spending - less than five percent - they influence up to 60-70 percent of health care decision-making.
Hologic Gen-Probe develops, manufactures and markets molecular diagnostics - also known as nucleic acid tests (NATs) - that provide fast, accurate, cost-effective results based on the human genome. Hologic Gen-Probe's NATs detect the unique genetic sequences of microorganisms that can cause infectious diseases or infect donated blood, as well as the genetic mutations that can cause certain kinds of cancer. By detecting disease-causing agents directly, through their unique genetic fingerprints, molecular diagnostic tests can provide faster, more accurate results than traditional methods such as antibody and culture testing. For example, Gen-Probe's tests for HIV-1 and the hepatitis C virus have helped reduce the risk of contracting these dangerous diseases from a blood transfusion to approximately one in two million.