What is PocDoc?


What is PocDoc?

Authored by: Dr Matthew Lee; BMSc, MBBS, MSc

What’s in this PocDoc Article?

What is PocDoc?

PocDoc is an app-based technology platform that provides accessible and efficient health assessments in under 10 minutes. The health assessments use fingerpick blood samples to run PocDoc’s proprietary digital diagnostic tests.

PocDoc’s cardiovascular health assessment integrates the 6-marker PocDoc Lipid Test. Lipid levels form an important part of cardiovascular risk measurement, and having this test integrated within the PocDoc platform provides unparalleled risk assessment.

The PocDoc Lipid Test is processed using PocDoc’s in-app image upload and processing system to deliver results within 7 minutes of taking the blood sample. The PocDoc Results Dashboard displays the results next to NHS recommended targets. This quickly enables a user to determine how their lipid levels compare to recommended levels as well as their overall level of cardiovascular risk and their healthy heart age.

Introducing the PocDoc Platform

The PocDoc Platform consists of the following:

The PocDoc App

The PocDoc App is a mobile application used to conduct PocDoc health assessments. Once a user logs into the App, they fill in the PocDoc Health Questionnaire, before being guided through doing a PocDoc diagnostic test. The PocDoc App then calculates the results and displays these to the user on the PocDoc Results Dashboard.

Please watch this video for a step-by-step guide to using the PocDoc App

The PocDoc Health Questionnaire

The PocDoc App contains a health questionnaire used in the health assessment. In the context of the PocDoc cardiovascular health screen, this is used to gather health and demographic information, which feeds into the QRISK algorithm to calculate a 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event and healthy heart age.

The PocDoc Health Questionnaire includes the following:

  • Demographic information including: Name, email address, sex, height, weight, ethnicity and postcode

This information is important for calculating BMI and QRISK score. Inputting an email address also allows us to send a digital copy of the results.

  • Health Information including: Pregnancy status, smoking status, diabetic status, last blood pressure measurement, last HbA1c result, family history of cardiovascular disease and types of medications which can impact lipid results

This information allows for a more accurate prediction of cardiovascular risk and enables us to flag certain conditions which may result in lipid test results being outside the normal range. This will aid healthcare providers in diagnosing why lipid results may be outside the normal range. For a comprehensive list of factors that may affect lipid test results, read our blog on Understanding PocDoc Lipid Test Results.

PocDoc Lateral Flow Tests

PocDoc manufactures diagnostic tests to be used within PocDoc health assessments. For cardiovascular risk assessments, this test is a 6-marker lipid test in lateral flow format called the PocDoc Lipid Test.

The PocDoc Lipid Test can measure lipid levels without needing specialized equipment, requiring just the test itself and your smartphone or tablet. The PocDoc App on the smartphone or tablet guides a user through the process of running the test and then displays the result.

How Does It Work?

1. Blood Sample Collection: A lancet is used to make a small prick in a finger, and 25μL is collected via a glass capillary. Since lipids are found in the blood, a blood sample is the best way to get an accurate measure of lipid levels.

2. Blood Processing: The blood sample is applied to the PocDoc Lipids cassette. Within the cassette, blood cells are separated from the plasma - which is the liquid part of blood.

3. Chemical Reaction: The plasma then flows to three distinct areas, each measuring a different type of cholesterol – Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and HDL-cholesterol. From these, Non-HDL- Cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, can be calculated.

4. Colour Change: Assay reactants, including dyes, on the test site react quickly with the lipids in the plasma, causing a colour change which is proportional to the level of the lipid being measured.

5. Image Upload: After 7 minutes the PocDoc App indicates it is time to take a picture using a phone or tablet's camera. The intensity of the colour change in the picture is then analysed and translated into an accurate lipid level reading.

6. Image Processing: PocDoc’s software adjusts for different lighting conditions, ensuring accurate results. The test uses colour barcodes as a reference to standardize the test results across various environments and inbuilt calibration to quantify the results.

7. PocDoc’s Uniqueness: Unlike other tests requiring specific conditions or cumbersome equipment, PocDoc's simplicity eliminates many common errors, making it accessible for everyone with access to a smartphone or tablet.

PocDoc Lipids measures 6 lipid biomarkers:

Please see the video demonstration showing how the PocDoc Lipid Test is performed: 

The PocDoc Results Dashboard

PocDoc Lipids provides quantitative results for:

Results are shown next to the recommended range given by the current NHS guidelines for each of the 6 lipid measurements. On the dashboard, a brief description of each type of lipid is also given. For a more comprehensive overview, please read our blog called PocDoc’s Guide to Lipids.

Information provided by the PocDoc Health Questionnaire and the PocDoc Lipid Test is then processed in the PocDoc App to generate the following metrics, which are also displayed on the dashboard:

  • Healthy heart age: Healthy heart age is the age at which a healthy person of the same sex and ethnicity has the 10-year QRISK3 score generated by the QRISK3 algorithm
  • Healthy person riskThis displays the expected risk of a healthy person with the same age, sex and ethnicity and no adverse clinical indicators to enable comparison with the tested individual’s risk

What happens to the PocDoc Lipid Test Results?

The person being tested will automatically receive a copy of the PocDoc Results Dashboard containing the PocDoc Lipid Test Results and the answers to the health and demographics questionnaire via email if an email address is entered.

For a comprehensive overview of interpreting lipid results, read our blog called Understanding PocDoc Lipid Test Results here.

Download PocDoc's General Guide Booklet Here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the PocDoc Platform?

  • The PocDoc platform enables fast, efficient digital health assessments that can be conducted in under 10 minutes 

2. What health assessments and tests can be done on the PocDoc platform?

  • The PocDoc platform currently includes a cardiovascular health assessment, including a digital 6-marker lipid panel called the PocDoc Lipid Test
  • PocDoc is working on launching metabolic and renal health assessments in the near future

3. What does the PocDoc test being quantitative mean?

  • Qualitative tests lipid tests only provide results showing whether the levels are above, below or in the normal range 
  • In contrast, the PocDoc test is quantitative, giving an exact level which gives a more accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk and more precise monitoring of lipid levels

4. How long can the PocDoc Lipid Test be stored, and under what conditions?

  • The PocDoc Lipid Test Kit should be stored under the specific conditions mentioned on the packaging
  • It's crucial to adhere to these storage guidelines and use the kit before its expiry date to ensure accuracy

5. Are fingerprick tests as accurate as a venous blood draw test?

  • Venous blood draw tests are considered the gold standard in medical diagnostics
  • The PocDoc Lipid Test is a point-of-care test designed to be accurate and convenient, using a finger-pick blood sample
  • Results from the PocDoc Lipid Test may vary to those given by a reference laboratory using a venous blood draw but differences between the two methods will not be clinically significant in most situations

6. Is personal information kept confidential?

  • Yes, personal information is kept confidential
  • PocDoc adheres to strict privacy policies to ensure the security and privacy of your personal and health-related data. This can be accessed on the privacy policy page here

7. What to do if the results are outside the recommended range?

  • If lipid results reveal that the patient has levels outside the recommended range for any of the markers, the individual can be referred to our blog on understanding your PocDoc Lipid Test results for comprehensive information on what this may mean

Download PocDoc's General Guide Booklet Here

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