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Point-of-Care COVID-19 Diagnostics: Understanding Performance Metrics and Creating Practice Guidelines

August 26, 2020

Gerald Kost, PhD
Director, POCT – CTR, School of Medicine
Emeritus Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
University of California, Davis
CEO, Knowledge Optimization

About the Webinar:

Point-of-care testing (POCT), diagnostic testing at or near the site of patient care, is inherently spatial, that is, performed at points of need, and also intrinsically temporal, because it produces fast actionable results. Outbreaks generate geospatial “hotspots.” POC strategies help control hotspots, detect spread, and speed treatment of highly infectious diseases. POCT can interrupt spirals of dysfunction and delay by enhancing disease detection, decision making, contagion containment, and safe spacing, thereby softening outbreak surges and diminishing risk before human, economic, and cultural losses mount. Point-of-care tests results identify where infected individuals spread COVID-19, when delays cause death, and how to deploy resources. Results in national cloud databases help optimize outbreak control, mitigation, emergency response, and community resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates unequivocally that governments must support POCT and multidisciplinary healthcare personnel must learn its principles, then adopt POC geospatial strategies, so that onsite diagnostic testing can ramp up to meet needs in times of crisis.

About Gerald Kost:

Dr. Gerald Kost is the founding Director of the Point-of-Care Testing Center for Teaching and Research at UC Davis and one of the founding fathers of the field of point-of-care testing. Other interests include clinical pathology, clinical chemistry, and bioengineering. Dr. Kost studied Engineering at Stanford University and in Venezuela, then received the Master’s degree in Engineering-Economic Systems (EEP) from Stanford prior to entering the Medical Scientist MD-PhD program at the University of California. He received his PhD in Bioengineering (NIH Traineeship) from UC San Diego and his MD from UC San Francisco in a Medical Scientist program. He was elected to Mu Alpha Theta (mathematics), Phi Kappa Phi (scholarship), and Sigma Xi (science) honor societies. His clinical residency comprised Internal Medicine/Neurology at UCLA and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is boarded in Clinical Pathology (ABP), was elected to the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB, AACC Academy), served on its Board of Directors, and is licensed to practice medicine in California. For over three decades, he was Director of POCT/Clinical Chemistry for UC Davis Health. In 1995, he founded the POCT•CTR, and in 2016, the POC Institute. He held an Edward A. Dickson Endowed Emeritus Professor Award in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine.

While a Fulbright Scholar (2003-04) in demography/medicine/economics at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, he helped implement POCT throughout the ASEAN member states, as well as India, Japan, South Korea, and China. He has designed a complete curriculum for teaching the principles and practice of POCT (see He was Principal Investigator/Director of the UC Davis POC Technologies Center (2007-14) funded by the NIBIB at NIH. In 2015 and 2016, he received Outstanding Speaker Awards from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, and in 2016, the AACC (NorCal) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry through Science and Technology recognizing “outstanding work in POCT, including recent work with Ebola testing and disaster readiness.” He contributes to NIH, National Academy of Sciences, and U.S. GAO expert panels.

His recent global outreach encompasses Affiliate Faculty at Chulalongkorn University and Visiting Professor at Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University in Bangkok; invited keynoter in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; educational tours in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hanoi); an International Symposium he organized at Hue University; presentations in Munich, Germany; and several contributions to WorldLab 2017, South Africa, as an inaugural member of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine POCT Task Force. He is President and CEO of Knowledge Optimization® in Davis, California. He received his second Fulbright Scholar Award 2020-2021 to research geospatial POCT in ASEAN with emphasis on island nations. He has published several papers on POCT and COVID-19 this year. An avid trumpet player, he performed recently in Carnegie Hall, New York City. More about Gerald Kost.

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