Last week we hosted a testing day at the Houses of Parliament to celebrate our 20th anniversary. In association with Anti-coagulation Europe and the Royal College of Pathologists, we showcased three innovative point of care tests, all related to cardiac health. MPs, peers and staff members made their way down to the Jubilee Room to measure their cholesterol, learn about self-monitoring of anti-coagulation therapies and discuss the advantages of ruling out heart failure with NTpro-BNP.
Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Minister for Health with Doris-Ann Williams MBE, Chief Executive of BIVDA & Eve Knight, Chief Executive of Anti-Coagulation Europe
Patients who have suffered from a thrombosis (blood clot) or thromboembolism (a blood clot which has travelled through the system) need to take anti-coagulation medication in order to thin the blood and prevent a further episode. While taking this type of medication it is necessary to regularly monitor the international normalised ratio (INR), in order to ensure a safe but effective level. The CoaguChek® XS system allows people the freedom to self-manage their anticoagulation therapy. Patients typically need to check their INR levels anywhere between once a week and once a month. Patient self-testing enables patients to test at home and liaise with their doctor or nurse over the telephone or by post.
Testing visitors to the Jubilee room for a number of heart health markers.
Roche Diagnostics have teamed up with Anti-Coagulation Europe to form the Anti-Coagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance (ACSMA) and they joined us to demonstrate the CoaguChek® XS while raising awareness of the benefits of self-monitoring INR. As David Cameron pointed out last December, when he launched the UK Strategy for Life Sciences, only 2% of patients on warfarin are currently self-monitoring. ACSMA made it clear that they want to increase this small percentage and the MPs and peers who saw their technology were supportive of this aim.
Widely used throughout the NHS, the Cholestech LDX® is a small portable lipid analyser that can be used in any location to provide ‘on-the-spot’ cholesterol measurements. Rapid results support speedy intervention where necessary and ensure that people can be provided with appropriate lifestyle advice to improve their health and reduce their risk. Steve from Alere Ltd. was at hand all day to offer his unique style of support and advice. Luckily he only had to direct one person to their GP for further advice –he had a healthy bunch of visitors who were all sent away with good news.
The RAMP® NT-proBNP test is an excellent example of an innovative diagnostic which speeds up diagnosis and access to appropriate care for those who suffer from heart failure. Using BNP within the heart failure pathway has been shown to allow quicker access to echocardiograms, improve prescribing through accurate diagnosis and reduce undiagnosed heart failure in the population. It also creates savings by ruling out the condition, therefore reducing the number of people referred for unnecessary diagnostic echocardiograms. Many MPs were interested in this particular test as a great example of IVDs creating savings through service redesign.
Lord Colwyn with Eve Knight, Chief Executive of Anti-Coagulation Europe and Gemma Scotcher, Public Affairs officer at BIVDA.
Follow us on @BIVDA where we’ll be tweeting about IVDs and innovative cardiac health pathways all day for #TestingTuesday