Rapid testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections improve patient care and yield public health benefits

With collaborators at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, we estimated the impact of a rapid testing and result notification service for patients testing for sexually transmitted infections at the Dean Street Express clinic. We found that a rapid testing service for asymptomatic infections resulted in 8 days’ faster time to result notification for CT and/or NG which enables faster treatment, thus reducing infectious periods and leading to fewer transmissions, unnecessary partner attendances and clinic costs, compared with those attending an existing ‘standard’ sexual health clinic.

PublicationGary G Whitlock, Daniel C Gibbons, Nick Longford, Michael J Harvey, Alan McOwan, Elisabeth J Adams Rapid testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections improve patient care and yield public health benefits
International Journal of STD & AIDS. First Published October 23, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1177/0956462417736431

 

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Cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial resistance point-of-care testing for optimising gonorrhoea treatment

In July, Emma Harding-Esch spoke at the STI and HIV World Congress in Rio on how to best manage the increasing challenge of anti-microbial resistance (AMR). The research she presented was a collaboration between Aquarius Population Health and ADREU St. Georges.  In recent years, there has been an increase in resistance to first-line therapies used to treat STIs such as gonorrhoea. The Aquarius team built a decision tree model to assess the cost-effectiveness of standard care compared to several hypothetical rapid point-of-care tests (POCT) for antibiotic susceptibility. The model simulated a cohort of sexual health clinic attendees. The results showed that while standard care is the cheapest option, AMR POCTs may be cost-effective and maximise the number of effective agents in treatment regimens, providing long-term benefits in some scenarios.

Harding-Esch EM, Huntington SE, Harvey MJ, et al. Cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial resistance point-of-care testing for optimising the treatment of gonorrhoea STI & HIV World Congress. 9-12 July 2017. Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

 

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Evaluating the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of multi-pathogen point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections

We estimated costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of three accurate 30-minute NAAT POCT strategies that detect different STI combinations, compared with standard care  (laboratory-based NAAT for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG)).  We found the CT-NG-MG-TV POCT strategy was the cheapest using tariff costing. It offered the most benefits, which in turn may have wider public health impacts through rapid and accurate STI diagnosis and management. Different testing strategies may be more cost-effective in different SHCs and patient groups. Further evidence is needed to capture the diversity of STI prevalence and management of patients across clinical services to better inform economic analyses.

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Harding-Esch EM, Huntington SE, Burns RM, et al. Evaluating the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of multi-pathogen point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections STI & HIV World Congress. 9-12 July 2017. Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

 

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Modelling how point-of-care tests can enable personalised treatment for resistant gonorrhoea infections

We created a mathematical model to investigate the treatment impact and economic implications of introducing an antimicrobial resistance point-of-care test (AMR POCT) for gonorrhoea as a way of extending the life of current last-line treatments. The introduction of AMR POCT could allow clinicians to discern between the majority of gonorrhoea-positive patients with strains that could be treated with older, previously abandoned first-line treatments, and those requiring our current last-line dual therapy. Such tests could extend the useful life of dual ceftriaxone and azithromycin therapy, thus pushing back the time when gonorrhoea may become untreatable.

Publication

Turner KM, Christensen H, Adams EJ, et al Analysis of the potential for point-of-care test to enable individualised treatment of infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant and susceptible strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a modelling study

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Point-of-care tests for infectious diseases: Barriers to implementation across three London teaching hospitals

Our paper explores results of the acceptability and implementation issues of point of care tests (POCTs) in paediatric patients in three south London hospitals. Overall, we found that having a test result was thought to improve bed management and cohorting sick patients appropriately, reassure parents about their child’s condition, reduce hospital transmission, and rationalise further tests and treatment. Concerns focused on confidence about the test’s performance – particularly around false negatives not receiving proper management, how to manage discrepant results (i.e. the laboratory assay gave a different answer to the POCT), and training enough staff to run the test at the point of care.

Publication

Bustinduy AL, Jeyaratnam D, Adams EJ, et al. CLAHRC South London; Paediatric Infection Network. Point-of-care tests for infectious diseases: Barriers to implementation across three London teaching hospitals. Acta Paediatrica,  April 2017. DOI: 10.1111/apa.13867

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

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.

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Cervical screening and HPV testing: Opportunities for rapid tests

Problem:  Our client Cepheid has developed a rapid HPV PCR test that can be used as a point-of-care test (POCT). They wanted to understand where in the cervical cancer screening and treatment pathway the test would be most beneficial to patients and the healthcare system. This comes during a time of uncertainty about how best to screen women, and how to organise laboratory services around screening. It is also unclear how screening may differ across Europe and the burden of cervical disease.

 Approach:  We conducted a literature review of the evidence about the current national cervical screening programme in the UK. Then, we conducted 25 semi-structured interviews with key opinion leaders across the UK to gain additional insight about the pathway and the opportunities for using a POCT in the screening pathway. Results also contributed to a European tool to understand cervical cancer diagnosis and burden.

 Impact:  We have presented our findings at international conferences (EUROGIN 2015, IPC 2015), and results have helped our client as they communicate the opportunities and value of a POCT for HPV to their stakeholders and customers. We have engaged with the international community on the requirements for the creation of a standardised international cervical cancer data repository, to inform better evidence-based decision making.

 

Testimonial

“While perfectly responding to the originally given mission, the Aquarius team painted a comprehensive picture of how healthcare is really delivered currently in Europe. This opened up our minds to new ways of improving patient care. The Aquarius team under Elisabeth’s leadership is highly professional, very creative and great fun to work with, without ever taking short cuts. I cannot imagine better results for us.”

  • Dr Anne Postulka, Senior Director Medical & Economic Value, Cepheid

 

Related publications

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus. 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women? 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women?

We conducted a literature review on cervical cancer incidence, screening algorithms and coverage across Europe. Data on the structure and provision of screening programmes are sparse, with large heterogeneity reported by sources. A lack of comparable data across countries makes it challenging for researchers and policy-makers to assess screening effectiveness and what is most beneficial for women. A central data repository could facilitate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analyses to support the adoption of the best screening algorithm.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women? 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

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Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus

We explored the use of a rapid, on-demand human papillomavirus (HPV) test as part of a cervical screening programme. Through semi-structured interviews with experts from across the UK, we found that a co-located, laboratory-based, and on-demand HPV test following cytology could reduce the time to results by up to a week, whilst a near-patient test under primary HPV screening followed by cytology triage could radically change the testing paradigm, with most women notified the same day.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus. 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

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Benefits of a point of care test for sexual health testing

publication_iconOur recently published studies have highlighted the economic and clinical benefits of incorporating a point-of-care nucleic acid amplification test for chlamydia and gonorrhoeae into sexual health clinics. In this article, some of the papers’ authors highlight the advantages over traditional immunoassay techniques for point-of-care detection.

The Clinical Services Journal. May 2014, p59-61.

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