HomeHealth & Fitness3 Key Differences Between Medical Screening and Diagnostic Testing

3 Key Differences Between Medical Screening and Diagnostic Testing

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has become more conscious of the significance of testing in healthcare. It is, however, crucial to understand the difference between diagnostic testing and screening. 

Search for “diagnostics lab near me” or “diagnostics centre near me” to get a screening and diagnostic tests to provide a complete picture of your health. The epidemics in the world have necessitated significant efforts on the part of both medicine and public health. 

Still, the way these professions work and employ testing in the United States appears to be highly different. Understanding the variations between tests in terms of intended usage and performance is critical for obtaining favourable health outcomes for individuals and populations.

It all comes down to the indications and symptoms.

Many tells come up when one falls sick. They are the body’s way of notifying you that something is amiss. They are called “symptoms” or “signs.” Initially, screenings and diagnostic tests differ depending on their target consumers and whether or not they are symptomatic.

Differences Between Medical Screening and Diagnostic Testing

Screening tests are designed for asymptomatic people (who have no or hidden symptoms). In contrast, diagnostic tests are for those people who have symptoms and need a diagnosis. 

They are frequently used in tandem: a screening test is conducted first to see if your health is on track, followed by a diagnostic test at a diagnostics lab to confirm or rule out likely findings.

Screening Exams

Screening tests are most commonly employed in asymptomatic individuals to evaluate the chance of having or acquiring a disease. 

The primary goal of these tests is to identify people at a higher risk of getting a certain disease and offer them either follow-up testing to confirm the presence or absence of the condition or counselling on lifestyle modifications to ensure continuing wellbeing. 

Screening tests are not intended to identify disease or sickness. These tests are helpful for early illness identification, encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, and aiding disease surveillance within a community. 

Perinatal syphilis, Group B Strep screening, HIV and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer, and other screening tests are examples.

Screening tests nearly require a second diagnostic test to confirm the illness. 

In other words, tuberculin skin tests cannot distinguish between latent TB infection and current TB illness since they only determine whether a person has ever been infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To establish the existence or absence of tuberculosis, a chest x-ray and culture must be done.


Diagnostic testing aims to determine whether or not a patient has a certain ailment. Doctors administer tests to detect the existence or absence of a potential ailment in patients as a foundation for therapy selection. 

They are often seen in symptomatic or screen-positive individuals (confirmatory test). Diagnostic tests identify whether or not a condition exists with 100% accuracy.

Mammography associated with USG, Echocardiography, Complete Blood Count (CBC), Colonoscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Bone Density Study, CT or CAT Scan, Prostate Specific Antigen, Electrocardiogram (ECG) is some examples of diagnostic tests (PSA Test).


A decent screening test will assess one’s risk but will not be able to detect a hereditary illness. As a result, a positive result is followed by a suggestion for diagnostic testing. This is true for QNatal® Advanced, Quest’s prenatal cell-free DNA screening. 

When prenatal screening reveals an elevated chance of a baby being born with a genetic disorder, the mother and her healthcare practitioner will review the findings and decide whether more invasive testing is required. 

These techniques examine some of the body’s cells to do a chromosomal analysis and provide accurate diagnostics of what the newborn may or may not have.

Shashi Arora
Shashi Arorahttps://www.trickyedu.com
Hello Friends, Shashi here. I am a Fitness trainer, reader, and writer. A long year back, I completed my diploma in nutrition and health. I hope, you are enjoying my health and fitness experience, sharing on trickyedu health's category.


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