This site is intended for health professionals only

The next big thing in Near-Patient Testing

Hot lunch news. That is, hot news about the cold lunch. Apparently the speakers get a ‘special’ lunch in their ‘special’ speakers Green Room. Except they don’t. Because someone made the mistake of leaving the door ajar betweeen talks and delegates descended like locusts. Hilarious –  at least until this afternoon’s speakers collapse with hypoglycaemia.

And in other Lunch News… The two most popular stands in the exhibition area were international medical recruitment (buzzing) and food supplements to promote male vitality (throbbing, at least after the supplements). Which pretty much sums up the state of current general practice.

If you did want your testosterone, glucose or inclination to emigrate measured, you could have done worse than attend the Near-Patient Testing session.

Usually I regard blood tests not as a means of keeping patients near but as a way of putting some distance between us – usually about a week, at which point, hopefully, they forget to attend their review appointment.

Good job I overcame this cynicism, though. Otherwise I wouldn’t have dicovered that the Next Big Thing in near patient testing is a contact lens that measures the glucose level in tear fluid. And if they can’t see anything at all through their lens, that probably tells you something about thheir level of diabetic control, too.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield