Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are a type of point-of-care diagnostic, meaning that these assays are intended to provide diagnostic results conveniently and immediately to the patient while still at the health facility, screening site, or other health care provider. Receiving diagnosis at the point of care reduces the need for multiple visits to receive diagnostic results, thus improving specificity of diagnosis and the chances the patient will receive treatment, reducing dependence on presumptive treatment, and reducing the risk that the patient will get sicker before a correct diagnosis is made. Rapid tests are used in a variety of point-of care-settings from homes to primary care clinics or emergency rooms — and many require little to no laboratory equipment or medical training.
A rapid diagnostic test (RDT) is a medical Diagnostic test that is quick and easy to perform. RDTs are suitable for preliminary or emergency medical screening and for use in medical facilities with limited resources. They provide same-day results within two hours, typically in approximately 15-20 minutes
RDTs can be especially useful with patient samples that can be collected by minimally trained health personal, such as community health workers. Body fluids that can be collected non-invasively, such as nasal swabs, urine, saliva, blood sample, and tears, are preferred as these are most amenable to collection with only minimal training.