By Joe Guterl

Bring the test to the patient, not the patient to the test. When diagnostic test instruments are available at the point of care (POC), healthcare providers and patients will have faster and easier access to reliable results. Risks can be assessed earlier when diagnosis and treatment are most effective.

High-performance liquid handling technologies are enabling advancements in POC instruments that deliver more accurate and reliable results faster. Flexible and customizable configurations provide options for different types of diagnostic testing instruments to maximize efficiency for small or remote POC facilities. POC liquid handling instrument designs that leverage these capabilities will be best positioned to gain advantage in growing POC markets.



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Optimum choice of liquid handling components can enable providers of diagnostic instruments to maximize patient access for POC use.


Accurate liquid handling pumps and pipettors can maximize rare testing opportunities

Tests can only be as accurate as the instrument that determines them. High performance automated liquid handling pumps and pipettors are fundamental to ensuring accurate and reliable fluid-based diagnostic testing. In remote communities, it can be challenging for some patients to get to a local medical facility to provide samples for testing. Many of today’s point of care systems are linked to the cloud, so physicians can make diagnoses and monitor patients from remote locations. Some medical conditions can also make samples difficult to collect. When patient samples are precious, liquid handling components that provide high precision, low pulsation, and accuracy at low volumes can help maximize the reliability of every test.

Samples may be more easily obtained for some types of tests such as fertility, blood monitoring, ongoing disease management, or routine wellness panels. However, the tests still demand precise, reproducible, and reliable data regardless of the testing location. Liquid handling pumps and pipettors that incorporate process security features such as liquid-level detection, tip detection, and pressure sensing and data streaming can provide an added level of confidence in test results.

Zero carry-over helps ensure patient sample purity

As the cost and infrastructure required for genetic technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and quantitative PCR decrease, rapid growth is anticipated in POC facilities for applications in areas such as reproductive health and oncology.1,2,3 With the possibility of erroneous PCR amplification in genetic sample preparation creating grave consequences for inaccurate diagnosis, it is vital for fluid-based diagnostic instruments to assure sample purity with zero carry-over between tests. Automated liquid handling pipettors that use disposable tips along with integrated tip sensing and liquid-level detection can help to ensure that each patient sample remains pure during the liquid handling process. Another approach is to keep the sample and fluids in the consumable, while pumping air to create momentum for the fluids.

Reliable and robust pumps and pipettors can be essential for small POC facilities

Reliable and robust instrument operation can make the difference between a patient getting a test or not. Unlike large, centralized hospitals, small or regional POC facilities may only have one of a specific diagnostic instrument. Remote facilities may also have limited access to instrument maintenance and training resources. Pipettors and pumps that are calibrated, pre-tested, and validated by the manufacturer help to ensure reliable performance for long-term use. Maintenance-free design and integrated process security features can maximize operational time, simplify workflows, and reduce integration requirements.

Customizable automated liquid handling components maximize flexibility for POC device manufacturers

Components for fluid-based automated diagnostic instruments must offer flexibility that enables manufacturers of POC testing instruments to design for different types of end-user platforms. For example, a small regional hospital or remote clinic might need a multi-purpose diagnostic instrument to run a range of chemical, immunological, and hematological assays on a single patient sample. Alternatively, a single-focus facility, such as a fertility testing center, might need an instrument that can process multiple patient samples for a single test. Automated liquid handling components that are available as pre-tested modules provide a straightforward solution for POC diagnostic instrument manufacturers to customize automated liquid handling instruments for a wide range of throughput, speed, fluid type, and sample size specifications.


Automated liquid handling pumps and pipettors that provide a range of performance options for precision, sample type, volume range, tip management, and process security can provide clinical device designers with excellent flexibility to tailor diagnostic test instruments for specific POC uses. Diagnostic test instrument providers who can deliver instruments that help bring diagnostic testing closer to patients will be in the strongest position to benefit from market growth opportunities driven by POC needs.

Maximize your market opportunities by choosing the right pump for your POC diagnostic instrument with our pump selector guide.


All Tecan Cavro components are designed and manufactured to the highest quality standards, and are designed and manufactured under ISO13485, ISO9001 and FDA 21 CFR Part 820 requirements. They follow national and regional compliance, such as Europe’s RoHS Directive, REACH and Conflict Minerals requirements. Regulatory documentation is available to support customers in building their regulatory dossiers.


  1. 1. Global Market Insights. (2021) Point of Care (PoC) Molecular Diagnostics Market Size by Technology (PCR, In Situ Hybridization, Sequencing, Isothermal Amplification), By Application (Infectious Disease, {Flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Tuberculosis (TB), HIV, Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B}, Oncology, Hematology), By End-use (Hospitals, Clinics), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Growth Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2021 – 2027. Accessed online: 21 Apr 2022. Available at:
  3. 2. Markets and Markets (2702Mar, 2022). Point-of-Care & Rapid Diagnostics Market By Product (Glucose, Infectious Disease (HIV, Hepatitis C), Pregnancy Test), Platform (Microfluidics, Dipsticks), Mode of Purchase (OTC, Prescription), End User (Pharmacy, Hospital, Home) - Global Forecast to 2027. Accessed online: 21 Apr 2022. Available at:
  5. 3. Grand View Research (2019) Point-of-Care Molecular Diagnostics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Test Location (OTC, PoC), By Application (Infectious Diseases, Oncology), By End Use, By Technology, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 – 2024. Accessed online: 24 Apr 2022. Available at:

About the author

Joe Guterl

Joe Guterl

Joe Guterl is the US Business Development Manager for the Tecan Partnering Business Components group. He is responsible for identifying and working with new customers on innovative fluid handling designs and systems that include Tecan’s industry leading line of syringe pumps, rotary valves, piston pumps, and pipettors. Joe has been in the diagnostics and lab equipment components market for 25 years, and with Tecan since 2019.