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NHS could save £7 billion via new diagnostic techniques

Published on 20/06/18 at 11:45am

Research commissioned by Innovate UK and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) has revealed that the NHS could save over £6.9 billion in five years through quick adoption of new diagnostic tests.

These savings could help tackle the annual NHS shortfall that is expected to exceed £22 billion by 2022. Patients would benefit from three new tests – for heart attack, pre-eclampsia and inflammatory bowel disease – by reducing unnecessary procedures and medication while delivering savings.

Currently, the tests are used in a few clinics and hospitals although many health experts predict they would save huge sums if used more widely.

BIVDA is the national industry association for companies with major involvement and interest in the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry. Doris-Ann Williams, BIVDA's Chief Executive, said: “While the shakeup of NHS services and funding so often takes the headlines, simply making the most of the tests we already have would result in dramatic savings.”

The report calls on healthcare leaders and policy makers to reassess how the three high-impact examples, along with many other diagnostic technologies now available, could be better deployed within the NHS.

Innovate UK – part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government – is currently delivering the ‘From Data to Early Diagnostics and Precision Medicine’ Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), that invests in new technologies which diagnose disease earlier and reduce patient suffering.  

Dr Kath Mackay, Innovate UK Interim Director for Ageing Society, Health & Nutrition, added: “There are so many innovative diagnostic tests on the market and in development. It's important for all stakeholders that we take every opportunity to rapidly adopt tests which show cost savings and benefit to patients.”

Jason Holmes

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