PRESS RELEASE: Aquarius Population Health wins a prestigious SBRI grant from Innovate UK

Work has begun to develop a digital value proposition tool for a novel rapid sexually transmitted infection (STI) test

London, UK, 14 August 2017

Aquarius Population Health, a leading independent health economics consultancy, has recently been awarded an 18-month Innovate UK grant in collaboration with Atlas Genetics Ltd and the Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit at St George’s University of London (total £2,000,000). The funding will be used to develop evidence for health services to support the introduction of a new rapid diagnostic test. In 30-minutes the test can diagnose multiple sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia and gonorrhoea – infections which could take up to a week to diagnose using the current laboratory testing systems.

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Evaluating the use AMR POCT in treatment of gonorrhoea

Aquarius Population Health recently worked with the Applied Diagnostic Research & Evaluation Unit (ADREU) at St. Georges, University of London, to assess the cost-effectiveness of six hypothetical strategies for using antimicrobial resistance point-of-care testing to guide the treatment of gonorrhoea.  Our findings were presented at the STI & HIV World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [Wednesday 12th July, Session 15: STI/HIV testing and management].

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Evaluating multi-bug point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections

We were a collaborator on a recent Innovate UK-funded SBRI project with Atlas Genetics and the Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit at St George’s University of London. In this project, our team compared the overall costs, patient benefits and cost-effectiveness of three different multi-pathogen point-of-care testing strategies with the current strategy of microscopy and lab-based testing.

This work was presented at the STI and HIV World Congress which takes place July 9-12 in Rio de Janeiro. The poster can be seen here.

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Antimicrobial resistance point-of-care test for gonorrhoea

In a study commissioned by the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, Aquarius Population Health worked with modellers at the University of Bristol to create a mathematical model. The model was used to assess the economic implications and treatment impact of introducing a hypothetical antimicrobial resistance (AMR) point-of-care test (POCT) for gonorrhoea. Results of the study were published this week in BMJ Open.

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Antimicrobial resistance: Why it matters

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been described as one of the world’s greatest threats to human and animal health. Some reports suggest that by 2050, AMR could kill around 10 million people each year worldwide.  Public health leaders warn we could enter a ‘post-antibiotic’ era where easily treatable common infections become untreatable.
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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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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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