Can we use Point of Care HbA1c Testing (POCT) to diagnose type 2 diabetes? (English_U17SF)

University of East Anglia
July 07 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Currently type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed using glucose or HbA1c testing provided that stringent quality assurance tests are in place. In many countries only laboratory methods are considered to be good enough to meet these criteria however, there is considerable debate as to whether Point of Care Testing (POCT) devices for HbA1c could also be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes. Analytical quality studies have provided mixed results and are most commonly performed by laboratory staff under evaluation conditions. This mixed methods project will look at the core factors that need to be addressed to ascertain if POC HbA1c can be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes. The first element is an analytical quality study in the setting of the diabetes clinic and undertaken by non-laboratory personnel. This will demonstrate how these devices perform in real life settings rather than laboratory evaluations. A second element will be to assess the usability and acceptability of these devices in primary care settings. This will address the barriers and facilitators to the use of HbA1c devices and also assess the knowledge and understanding of Health Care Professionals in relation to HbA1c testing. The final element would be to develop and trial a quality framework for POCT HbA1c in low resource settings such as rural Africa or China. Areas that do not have easy access to laboratory services present a unique challenge to diagnosing diabetes and would potentially benefit from structured testing programmes using HbA1c POCT devices. This project offers training in a diverse range of research and transferable skills.

Funding notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee may also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess