Point of care testing: Disruptive innovation – is the NHS ready for it yet?

Elisabeth AdamsOur Managing Director, Elisabeth Adams, spoke in November about the importance of exploring the health economics of point of care testing (POCT) at the Royal Society of Medicine Telemedicine and eHealth event in London. The video of her presentation is now online – view the full talk here.

Why is it important to explore the health economics of point of care testing (POCT)?

Evaluating the health economics of POCTs can help us better understand the cost, benefits and value of implementing these tests, compared to standard laboratory tests. We need to explore the acquisition costs of innovative technology like POCTs compared to standard tests, as well as the benefits generated for patients, service providers, clinicians and public health in general. Benefits can include faster results, better care, fewer complications, more efficient services and better use of resources, and knock-on benefits like reduced prevalence of disease. Those making purchasing decisions for new tests need evidence to prove the value of the tests.

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Understanding barriers to implementing point-of-care tests in paediatric patients

The team at Aquarius Population Health investigated the experience of implementing point-of-care tests (POCTs) for paediatric patients during respiratory disease season (winter 2014 – spring 2015), in collaboration with colleagues from three large hospitals in South London (Guy’s and St. Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and St. George’s University Hospital). Each centre independently evaluated one POCT test (Enigma® MiniLab™ FluAB-RSV PCR assay, BioMérieux BioFire Filmarray, and Luminex RVP Fast v2) on paediatric patients either in the Accident and Emergency department or admitted as an inpatient.

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Building evidence for the value of digital health products at DHACA

January has been a busy month for Aquarius Population Health, and our team members have spoken at and attended several fascinating events.  Our Managing Director, Dr Elisabeth Adams, presented at the invitation-only DHACA Day XI on the 18th January. Drawing from her extensive experience delivering health economic projects, Elisabeth provided key insights on how patient pathway mapping and economic evaluation help demonstrate the value of digital health products. Digital Health and Care Alliance (DHACA) is a non-for-profit organisation dedicated to sharing knowledge and advancing digital healthcare systems in the UK and Europe.

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Improving patient care with rapid point of care tests

Dr Elisabeth Adams, Managing Director of Aquarius Population Health, presented on opportunities for rapid tests in influenza and HPV at international conferences in June.

This has been a busy week for the Aquarius Population Health team. We had two posters at the Society for Medical Decision Making in London (12-15th June), which Elisabeth presented. The posters showcased results from two studies we have done looking at the impact of implementing a rapid near-patient test for influenza and RSV. This was a collaborative project with Enigma Diagnostics and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. Results indicated that a rapid test could improve clinical management of patients with influenza, and could save commissioners money. It also illustrated how a rapid test could prevent unnecessary isolation bed days compared to current practice (presumptive isolation while waiting for results of the standard laboratory test results for influenza).

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Rapid tests central in combatting resistant infections: Aquarius PH contributes to the O’Neill Review on antimicrobial resistance

Research by Dr Elisabeth Adams, Managing Director of Aquarius Population Health, contributed to the O’Neill Review on antimicrobial resistance published today.

The Review, titled “Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: final report and recommendations” discusses areas crucial in the global strategy against antimicrobial resistance. The review mentions rapid tests as one of the most important diagnostic tools in selecting appropriate and effective antibiotic therapy for patients.

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Guinea combats Ebola epidemic in its third year: basic epidemiology sheds light on the challenge ahead

On 7 November, the WHO announced that Sierra Leone was officially ‘Ebola-free’. Guinea will not be so lucky.  As of today, it is now a certainty that Guinea’s fight against Ebola will continue into its third year.

This is because of the way the WHO decides that a country is Ebola-free.  The international health body’s policy is to count 42 days – twice the maximum incubation period of the virus – from when the last patient to receive treatment is confirmed either Ebola-negative or safely buried.  There was still one patient being treated for Ebola as of 11 November, and even if that patient were confirmed negative, adding 42 days takes us to 24 December 2015, exactly 2 years since the beginning of the outbreak.

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An intern’s perspective of working at Aquarius Population Health

I’m Catherine, a former summer intern – now junior researcher at Aquarius. At the beginning of the summer, I was awarded a UCL Advances internship placement, which allowed me to work at Aquarius for 8 weeks and was fully funded to cover living expenses. I am delighted to have been offered a continuing post with the company as I had an amazing experience over the summer. I want to share what it was like to have an internship, particularly with those who have an interest in health economics, enterprise, and consulting, and are considering applying for an internship opportunity.

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Aquarius Population Health presents the breast cancer diagnostic pathway at ISPOR Milan

Our Managing Director, Dr Elisabeth Adams, will be presenting “Mapping the diagnostic pathway for breast cancer in England and comparison to Europe” at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Milan which runs from the 7 – 11 November, 2015.

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