New point-of-care (POC) tests are currently being developed which can be used in clinic to simultaneously test for multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In work now published online in BMJ Open, we developed a model to compare three possible strategies for POC STI testing with the current practice of microscopy and lab-based testing. The three strategies were: 1) a dual test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea; 2) a triple test which also tests for M. genitalium, and 3) a quadruple test which also tested for trichomoniasis. The model examined the overall costs, patient benefits and cost-effectiveness of these strategies. The full results of the economic evaluation including the article and supplementary material are available online.
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.
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.