New rapid sexual infection test set to transform nation’s health

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Researchers at St George’s, University of London say the new speedy test will mean that for the first time ever patients with common sexual infections will be able to get their diagnosis, results and treatment in one clinical visit.

Placing these rapid and accurate tests into clinics may also have a big impact on the fight against antibiotic resistance, as they enable correct diagnosis of infections that have similar signs and symptoms. It has the potential to be used in specialised sexual health clinics as well as outreach and community settings.

The test works by placing a swab or a small amount of urine into the test cartridge, placing the cartridge into the shoe-box sized diagnostic machine, designed by innovation firm Atlas Genetics Ltd, and waiting just 30 minutes for the result.

The project between experts at the university’s Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit (ADREU) and Atlas Genetics Ltd and Aquarius Population Health (APH) aims further the development and implementation of the test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Together the St George’s team and Aquarius Population Health (APH) will assist the adoption of this new technology into NHS services.

Local clinical trials, led by Dr Emma Harding-Esch ADREU Programme Manager and Epidemiology Lead at St George’s, will establish the accuracy of the test and APH will provide essential data on cost-effectiveness.

Key to the success is a programme of work led by Dr Sebastian Fuller, ADREU Social Science Lead researcher, also based at St George’s, which is designed to identify the main factors that might facilitate or obstruct adoption of new technologies in the health system.

Dr Tariq Sadiq, Director of ADREU and Reader in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, said: “This is a highly exciting and innovative approach to overcoming the substantial challenges to getting great technology adopted into the NHS by shedding light on potential routes through the complex landscape of factors and obstacles in our health systems.”

The work is being funded by a two-year grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency which helps take new ideas to market by supporting and connecting innovative businesses, awarded to Atlas Genetics Ltd.

Dr Elisabeth Adams, Managing Director of Aquarius Population Health added: “We are very excited to collaborate on this Innovate UK funded project. We hope that our innovative digital value proposition tool will help sexual health clinics in their commissioning and adoption of this new technology.”

Dr John Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Genetics, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for this substantial follow-on contract.

“The work being done by this collaboration will enable us to better understand how best to integrate our io® system into UK sexual health clinical practice. Innovate UK’s commitment to introducing new, pioneering approaches to healthcare validates both our technology and our leading role in molecular diagnostics.”

The work is being funded by a two-year grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency which helps take new ideas to market by supporting and connecting innovative businesses, awarded to Atlas Genetics Ltd.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of St George’s LondonNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

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