GPs push for new tech that could mean drive-through blood tests
GPs are pushing for on-the-spot testing to monitor people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, without having to order a blood test.
They say a properly funded system will lead to faster care, and save patients time and money.
The test measures the average exposure to blood glucose during a three-month period, and patients would take it every three to six months.
A drop of blood is all that's needed to turn around a result within three and a half minutes
The test has allowed Suellyn Harrison to keep on top of her type two diabetes.
"I ended up losing 15 kilos and that changed everything," she told 9News.
"It's so easy, less blood and it's done in a couple of minutes."
It also removes the need for standard pathology tests where patients need to attend up to three medical appointments.
"The technology has improved," Associate Professor Neale Cohen from the Baker Institute said.
"I think we're seeing very accurate results now in a very short space of time."
Associate Professor Cohen said they had established a drive-through system where people could just stick their finger out of a car window for a blood test.
It would mean 80 per cent of pathology tests ordered by the GP could be done using desktop diagnostic machines.
GPs are keen to widely adopt the technology, otherwise known as point-of-care testing.
They are pushing for Medicare funding to ensure the cost isn't passed on to the patient.
"Having Medicare item numbers for point-of-care testing in general practice is absolutely vital," Dr Louise Acland of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners said.