Home testing kit for cancer patients now approved for use

Cupertino, May 10, 2024

By Shiona McCallumTechnology Reporter2 hours ago

A new device to help reduce the time cancer patients spend in hospital has received regulatory approval. With the Liberty, patients can take blood tests at home and unattended and upload the results. Users say it will help them make fewer hospital visits, while doctors suggest it could boost NHS productivity. After being trialled at the Christie In Manchester, the device will now be deployed at 12 NHS locations. However, Cancer Research UK says it has only been tried in a small number of people so far. More work is needed before we know whether it can be used more widely in cancer care, the charity says. Treatment for cancer involves a series of blood tests, as medical professionals check multiple health indicators, such as hemoglobin levels and total white blood cell counts. Lynn Thompson, who has been dealing with both ovarian and colon cancer since 2017 – and was one of the trial patients – said it was a big relief to be able to do some of those tests at home.

Caption: She says the device really reduced stress and anxiety in her life. "I just fell in love with the machine to be completely honest with you. It was so easy to follow and use," the 52-year-old said. She said it allowed her to stop being like that tied to a fixed schedule of hospital visits, which she found physically and mentally exhausting – especially given her fear of needles. 'By the time I got to the blood room to the chair I would probably pass out, and that packs a punch... the effect was to make me feel really bad all day. "The machine has taken all that away, it's a simple finger prick that doesn't hurt. It's a small amount of blood and then it's hidden - there's no stress or anxiety involved. The device, the size of a small printer, can sending blood sample analyzes directly back to hospital teams. Sacha Howell, senior lecturer in medical oncology at The University of Manchester said the shift to blood testing from the confines of the hospital to the comfort of patients at home was not only more convenient for patients, but also savings for the NHS. could mean. Recently, The Christie launched one of the largest cancer treatment centers of its kind in Europe – has positioned phlebotomy units in the region in what is known as 'bleeding closer to home' 'But it still means we need those units staff so that the patients can have the blood tests,” said Dr. Howell. “If patients could simply do this themselves at home, it would lead to significant efficiency gains.” Trials conducted at The Christie have shown promising results, although the number of patients is low. There have been 22 patients. like Lynn who participated in a home study supplemented by regulatory approval studies involving 470 patients. Cancer Research said these low figures meant some caution was needed. “It is still very early days” for this technology “and further research is needed,” a statement said. “The regulatory approval provides no indications of effectiveness or clinical utility in this area.” phase – these questions should be answered in future clinical trials of the device before it can be used more widely,” it added. The boss of the company that makes it, Entia, is optimistic, although he says it is the world's first ever blood count analyzer that patients can use at home. “By providing insight into patients' health status, the device enables healthcare professionals to preemptively address complications, reducing hospital admissions and treatment interruptions,” said Dr. Toby Basey-Fisher.

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