Advances in biotechnologies and miniaturization over the past few decades have led to an explosion in the number of rapid tests in in vitro diagnosis and explain their ever-growing presence in international markets. Although based on classic immunological and biochemical methods, these tests deliver many more benefits for laboratories. They are rapid and simple to perform, provide results rapidly and can be performed in remote laboratories, making them invaluable for both routine and emergency analyses. As beneficial as they may be, however, they still have a long way to go before they find widespread use in infectious disease control. Currently, rapid testing methods are used only to screen for urinary tract infections, monitor certain infectious parameters and make more accurate diagnosis of a still small number of species of bacteria. This narrow catalogue of available tests is yet another disadvantage in a list of drawbacks typically associated with rapid tests. A good portion of complaints centers on the fact that they are still too recent to have sufficient information on their levels of sensitivity and reliability. Furthermore, regulations, in particularly concerning accountability, remain to be established. Nevertheless, constant innovation coupled with the experience of laboratory professionals in the field should open the way for rapid testing to earn its place in the line-up of medical laboratory tests.