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 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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Integrating Personalised Medicine into the NHS

Personalised medicine is an emerging field that brings exciting changes to patient care. So, what exactly is personalised medicine and what are its benefits?

In the past, various terms have been used interchangeably: ‘stratified medicine’, ‘personalised medicine’ and ‘precision medicine’. These terms refer to data driven medicine, in which data can be a patient’s genetic makeup, molecular data or disposition to respond to therapy. These data allow for a targeted approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment using technologies such as genomic medicine, diagnostic tests, predictive data analytics or real-time patient monitoring.

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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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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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Using a systems approach to complex problems in public health

I recently returned from Scotland where I was guest lecturing at the University of St Andrews School of Medicine. This is the second year I’ve been asked by my good friend, Dr. Damien Williams, to deliver a lecture as part of their MSc in Global Health Implementation programme. The topic of the lecture was ‘Addressing health inequities: Dynamic systems approach for global health implementation.’ Tackling complex problems in public health is an important topic; I want to give a brief overview of using a systems approach to complex problems in public health.

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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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