What Hospitals Are Doing To Diagnose Infectious Diseases Faster

New Technology Helps Doctors Diagnose Diseases Faster

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- When it comes to infectious diseases, every second counts. 

That's why hospitals like Forsyth Medical Center are using machines like Biofire FilmArray and T2Dx Instrument.

These machines are test a specimen and determine what kind of infection a person has.

Dr. David Priest, Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship for Novant Health, says these machines are life saving.

A few days long process of waiting for test results has now been shortened to hours.

"It makes a big difference in what antibiotics we are choosing and it makes a big difference in being able to stop antibiotics that patients don’t need." Priest said.

The Biofire machine reads four different kinds of specimen--- respiratory, blood, spinal fluid and stool.

Each test looks for anywhere between 14-27 different kinds viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeast and antimicrobial resistance genes that may be in your body.

The lab tech is careful with your sample --gowning and gloving to keep everything clean. Then the tech takes your sample injects it with a diluting agent to make it thinner, mixes it, adds it to a cartridge which then goes into the machine.

In about an hour and 5 minutes, doctors find out what's in your system.

The T2 machine tests your blood for yeast which is a sign of a serious infection, but that takes about 3 hours.

Doctors expect these times to get shorter.

"We are very excited in what the future holds in microbiology technologies," Priest said. 

Cone Health uses similar technology like Forsyth Medical Center.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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