New point-of-care (POC) tests are currently being developed which can be used in clinic to simultaneously test for multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In work now published online in BMJ Open, we developed a model to compare three possible strategies for POC STI testing with the current practice of microscopy and lab-based testing. The three strategies were: 1) a dual test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea; 2) a triple test which also tests for M. genitalium, and 3) a quadruple test which also tested for trichomoniasis. The model examined the overall costs, patient benefits and cost-effectiveness of these strategies. The full results of the economic evaluation including the article and supplementary material are available online.
An article authored by Aquarius was published today on the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) website. The article commissioned jointly by BIVDA and Innovate UK suggests that the NHS could save over £6.9 billion in 5 years by making better use of diagnostic tests already on the market. These savings could have a huge impact in reducing the annual NHS shortfall, which is expected to be £20 billion by 2022.
At Aquarius, we love an opportunity to learn new skills and work together as a team to produce something we’re proud of. Our team away day was no exception. In an 800-acre forest in the depths of West Sussex, we spent the day in our outdoor gear learning some bush craft and how we can achieve our business strategy in the coming year.
The winter flu season brings added pressure to emergency and acute hospital services. In the UK, children and infants account for more than a third of flu related hospital admissions since flu and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) can be particularly severe in children, particularly those with existing conditions such as asthma.
In our recent paper published, we report the results of a real-world evaluation conducted in a busy children’s hospital in central London. We assessed the impact and economic benefits of using a 90-minute point-of-care (POC) assay to test for influenza and RSV in children and infants admitted to hospital. This was done by comparing data collected from an acute paediatric ward during one flu season, when standard laboratory testing was used, with data collected from the same ward in the subsequent flu season, when the POC test was in use.
In January, Elisabeth, Mike and I attended the European MedTech Forum in Brussels, a three-day annual event which brings together key players from the world of in-vitro diagnostics and medical devices. We enjoyed engaging with senior decision-makers from across Europe and beyond, including representatives from small start-ups to large multinationals.
In the latest episode of the BBC’s show, “Trust me, I’m a Doctor”, an innovative new product called Magseed is being trialled to improve surgery for women with breast cancer. A tiny magnetic seed is being used to transform how cancerous tissue is localised so that it can be removed, rather than using traditional guide wires. This helps the surgeons pinpoint exactly where they need to operate, and which angle is the best to approach the tumour. Much smaller tumours are currently being detected through the breast cancer screening programme, which are more difficult to find during surgery using guide wires.
Aquarius Population Health is excited to participate in the 2018 MedTech Forum in Brussels on the 23-25th January. The MedTech Forum is one of the largest health and medical technology industry conferences in Europe. Since 2007, it provides participants with the chance to gather insights on the latest industry trends, as well as networking opportunities with other business leaders, leading innovators and investors. The MTF 2018 programme will focus on digital developments, new business strategies and innovation.
We’re pleased to welcome a new member of the Aquarius team. Beth Shead joined the team in October as our new Research Assistant. She will primarily support our work on patient pathways and micro-costing in sexual health clinics as part of a larger Innovate UK funded project with Atlas Genetics and St. George’s University of London. Beth will also support some of the diverse projects which Aquarius are currently working on.
Aquarius Population Health, a leading independent health economics consultancy, worked with Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust to assess the impact of Dean Street Express, their award winning sexual health clinic in Soho, London. This service tests symptom-free people wanting a routine sexual health check-up using an on-site 90-minute chlamydia and gonorrhoea rapid test. They estimated the patient and public health benefits of their rapid testing service, and compared to the standard sexual health service that didn’t offer rapid delivery of test results.
What do digital health, health economics, making better decisions, and zombies have in common? Much more than you think!
We recently attended the the Digital Art of the Possible 2 (DAP2) event hosted by the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) with our good friend, Charles Lowe, from the Digital Health and Care Alliance . At the DAP2 event, the future of digital health technology in the NHS was discussed including case studies of what has worked well across the area. Elisabeth said a few words about the importance of digital health technology to businesses and the NHS (video).