Screening tests have a wide variety of purposes in medicine, agriculture, the food industry, and other areas. Here is a look at some of the most common types of screening tests, how they work, and why they are important.

Screening tests are conducted to monitor a person’s health, even when the person may not feel sick. Screening tests can be used to detect diseases early, before any observable symptoms develop. This can save lives and healthcare costs.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of testing for infectious diseases, both for individual people’s health and for public health. When working to mitigate the impact of an infectious disease, it is important to test large numbers of people. However, this can take a significant amount of time and resources. Sample pooling and at-home testing can help. Read on to learn more about these testing methods.

Ordinarily, infectious diseases account for only a small percentage of overall global deaths. However, if infectious disease cases are not properly monitored, they can become dangerous and can wreak havoc on health systems and economies. For this reason, disease detection is  extremely important.

Testing for conditions and diseases can be lifesaving. For example, routine screenings for cancer can help doctors catch a problem early and provide patients with potentially life saving care. Additionally, testing for diseases which spread between people, from sexually transmitted diseases to COVID-19, is crucial for public health.

Over the past year and a half, you may have found yourself with a swab up your nose while getting tested for COVID-19. But did you know that the cotton swab was invented in the 1920s?

“after selling more than 800,000 swabs to Medical supply company Henry Schein and Health Care Network Kaiser Permante, OPT Industries is about to open a new facility in Medford.” – Bloomberg

“Massachusetts startup OPT Industries is perfecting a 3D-printed nasal swab for COVID-19 tests” – TechCrunch

In an experimental study, OPT InstaSwab™ showed significantly improved collection and elution efficiency as compared to both the Copan FLOQSwab and traditional polyester swabs.

“A better nasal swab for Covid-19 testing: MIT spinout OPT Industries uses novel additive manufacturing systems to create intricately-designed products.” – MIT News