The Difference Between Screening Tests & Diagnostic Tests

The Difference Between Screening Tests & Diagnostic Tests

With so many different types of medical tests available, it can be extremely confusing to patients. Some of these confusing medical tests include screening tests and diagnostic tests. Next Genomix Laboratories specializes in pharmacogenomic testing, which is used to help determine genetic compatibility for medications. Below, we'll review the difference between screening and diagnostic tests. Get in touch today!

doctor smiling and discussing options for her patient

What's a Screening Test?

A screening test is primarily a preventative test. It is used to detect conditions, diseases, or risk factors early for those who are showing no symptoms. It can give those who may have genetic conditions in play an understanding of their risk of developing that disease later on down the road.

Doctor holding a sample test tube

What's A Diagnostic Test?

A diagnostic test is usually performed for those individuals who are showing some sort of symptom and are looking for a diagnosis. These tests can be specific to certain diseases or conditions and are used to detect their presence.

Woman performing a diagnostic test on  a sample

When Do You Use Each?

A screening test is used for those who would like more information on their likelihood of developing a certain disease, such as if a family member was recently diagnosed with a genetic condition. A diagnostic test is done for those who are looking for a diagnosis for a certain disease or who had a screening performed and had an abnormality crop up.

doctor communicating with a patient

The Benefits of Both Kinds of Testing

A screening test offers peace of mind to those who are worried primarily about genetic disposition to diseases. A diagnostic test is useful for confirming or ruling out conditions and diseases that are causing symptoms in a patient. Both tests are great for giving answers to medical issues.


Our molecular diagnostic laboratory in Atlanta offers clinical genetic testing and comprehensive diagnostic services for individuals and physicians nationwide. Our pharmacogenomic testing helps physicians prescribe the correct medication for patients based on the results. If you are in need of pharmacogenomic testing, a punch biopsy, or a COVID-19 test, call us today!