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[Perspectives] A laboratory in your pocket

Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death, especially among children in low-income and middle-income countries. Rapid, point-of-care (POC) identification of pathogens could help efforts to control and manage infectious diseases. For most infections, specimen collection and testing is limited to formal medical and laboratory settings. Although rapid diagnostic tests exist for some pathogens, such as influenza, group A streptococcus, and HIV, many still lack specificity and sensitivity; thus, specimens must be sent to a trained and equipped laboratory for gold standard testing.