When I started hunting for internships towards the end of the third year of my Computer Science degree, I knew that I wanted to work for a small and growing business. I found Aquarius through the UCL Advances internship scheme that specialises in small to medium sized businesses. Aquarius offered the perfect combination of experiences for me: a way to apply my technical skills while being exposed to the fundamentals of how a growing business was run. My primary task was building an online data portal that the team could use to store and organise their data related to their various projects.
Working with us gives health to those who need it most
Aquarius Population Health is passionate about improving healthcare at home – and abroad. To demonstrate our commitment, we are proud to give to those who need health most. We have partnered with B1G1 and donate monthly to the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF).
Our 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Three of the Aquarius team have recently co-authored an article on the rapid detection of respiratory viruses in a hospital paediatric ward. The article, entitled “Performance of a novel point-of-care molecular assay for the detection of Influenza A, B, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus”, can be found in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, online first.
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.