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.
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.
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.
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].
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.
Our managing director, Dr Elisabeth Adams, is presenting two posters at the 30th annual International Papillomavirus Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The first poster, “Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus”, is a detailed look at the current patient pathways for cervical screening programmes, and key opinion leaders’ views on the impact a rapid diagnostic would have on the health and overall wellbeing of women.
Transforming clinical decisions
We can help you visualise the current patient care pathways and benchmark them against guidelines, and work together with you to understand how current practice might be optimized to yield better outcomes for patients and more efficient services.