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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Antimicrobial resistance: How to combat AMR

Part 2: What, if anything, can we do as individuals to help combat AMR?

In the second part of this article, we explore what we can do to combat AMR.

Don’t get ill.

That might sound ridiculous, since no one wants to get ill. However as individuals, we can  reduce our risk of picking up an infection and reduce our need for antimicrobials. One of the simplest, but probably the most difficult, is to eat a healthy diet and stay physically active. At the Aquarius office, we have a communal fruit bowl to encourage us to eat healthier snacks. We compete in a weekly fitness challenge to see who walks the most steps, encouraging us all to be more active.

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Antimicrobial Resistance: Innovation in rapid diagnostics

Part 3: What role does innovation such as rapid diagnostics have in preventing AMR?

Just as new technology has helped us in the fight against global warming (fuel efficiency, clean energy etc.), technology can also help us in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). One such area is rapid diagnostics – identified as a key intervention for reducing AMR in the government’s 2016 Review of Antimicrobial Resistance.

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Where are we with HIV in the UK?

HIV has profoundly impacted public health. Currently, 36.7 million people live with HIV worldwide and over 100,000 in the UK. According to data from Public Health England (PHE),  an estimated 6,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2015 and 13,500 people not yet diagnosed.

Increasing awareness, swift diagnosis and provision of antiretroviral therapy for people who are diagnosed is crucial to prevent onward transmission of HIV and end the HIV epidemic.  These aims were highlighted in the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 global target and the latest World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on HIV treatment and prevention.

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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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