Aquarius go wild! An outdoor learning adventure

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.

Under the expert tuition of Nathan, our guide for the day, we started with some animal tracking tips. There was plenty of evidence of deer, rabbits, badgers and horses as we walked through the stunning forest making our way to camp. What struck me was how easy it was to miss things along the way – and only when we stopped and had things pointed out to us did the forest really come to life.

Surrounded by natural resources, we learnt some varied uses for common plants like brambles, pines and nettles, sampling a few as we went, as well as how to spot the best fire wood and why not to stand too long under a beech tree.

Following our arrival at basecamp we got some hands-on experience of safe knife use getting to saw and carve hazel branches into tent pegs. We then used the pegs and various other pieces of kit to construct a super shelter from tarps. All team members needed to get involved to succeed, and many discovered new skills in the forest.

Alongside the various bush craft activities, we also had the opportunity to reflect on our individual strengths within the team, spend time thinking about how Aquarius can achieve our goals as well as ways to improve how we work as a team. In fact, the forest was an ideal location to discuss strategy since there are many things to be learnt in the forest which apply to the real world like ‘look down, look up and look around’!

Assessing the impact of point-of-care testing for influenza and RSV in children admitted to hospital

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.

Results of the evaluation showed that when POC testing was being used, more children with flu received oseltamivir, the antiviral treatment recommended for the treatment of flu (an increase from 13% to 40%). Although there was no statistically significant difference in the average length of hospital stay (2 days in both cases), overall laboratory costs and reimbursement charges for hospital admissions were less when POC testing was in use, indicating that the POC testing meant that fewer laboratory tests, procedures and interventions were performed during admissions.

The results of the evaluation suggest that POC testing for flu and RSV in children admitted to hospital could be beneficial to the children and their families, and to the wider health system through the knock-on cost savings. It is possible that similar POC testing in hospital emergency departments, prior to admission, could be beneficial and this certainly warrants further investigation.

If you’re interested in reading the article in full, please request a copy by emailing

If you’re a company wanting to produce economic evidence for your IVD, please get in touch to discuss how we can help.

If you would like to find out more about our other services at Aquarius, or want to sign up to our regular newsletter please get in touch.

Exploring In-Vitro Diagnostics and Medical Devices at the European MedTech Forum

MedTech Forum 2018In 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.

We attended numerous talks on a wide range of topics including preventing antimicrobial resistance, changes to regulations, and planning for Brexit with the uncertainty of what it will mean for British and European companies. There were a number of discussions around value-based pricing and procurement, echoing discussions we have had over the years and our ongoing work across key areas such as patient care mapping and economic modelling to demonstrate the value of medtech products.

One way to communicate the value of products is to use interactive decision tools. At our booth we showcased  our new online digital tools. These easy to use applications have a powerful analytical engine and can be used anywhere and on any device to communicate value messages. We recommend these tools as part of companies’ marketing and communication materials to capture their potential customers’ imagination about the value of their products. Our clients love them and are using them to win over payers and key stakeholders and secure more sales.

If you missed us at the Forum or want to find out more about Aquarius, please contact us, download a brochure, or explore our website. You can also call me directly on +44 (0)207 993 2930 to set up a demonstration of our digital decision tools or discuss how else we can demonstrate the value of your products.

Dr. Susie Huntington

Aquarius supports the Royal Marsden as they assess an innovative device for breast cancer surgery

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.

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The MedTech Forum 2018 – Brussels

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.

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A rapid testing service for chlamydia and gonorrhoea yields significant patient and public health benefits

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.

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Digital health, health economics and Zombies!

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).

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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 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: 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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