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Media Monitoring: 22 – 28 July

By July 28, 2023No Comments

New study set to explore how biomarkers can speed up stroke diagnosis

  • Researchers are set launch a new study aiming to develop faster ways of diagnosing stroke by using biomarkers found in patients’ blood, urine and saliva.
  • This is expected to obviate the need for ambulance personnel to use symptom checklists to detect stroke with the full pathway including an assessment at a hyperacute stroke unit followed by a transfer to a specialist neuroscience unit for treatment, thus speeding up the diagnostic process significantly.
  • This latest research will be the first to explore whether there are sncRNAs exclusive to stroke, which can help health professionals differentiate real stroke from conditions with similar symptoms, such as seizure or migraine which account for around 30-40% of emergency ambulance admissions for suspected stroke.
  • The researchers will also investigate whether biomarkers can separate the two main types of stroke – which require radically different treatments.


Evaluating diagnostic tests during outbreaks: challenges and lessons learnt from COVID-19

  • Timely access to quality-assured diagnostic tests during a pandemic or outbreak is essential to support public health measures and limit the spread of disease; independent test evaluation studies are necessary to provide objective evidence on assay performance, but challenges in study implementation can contribute to delays.
  • Challenges encountered during implementation of evaluation studies for COVID-19 diagnostic tests included logistical and resource-related constraints, delays in building partnerships and obtaining ethical approvals, continuous changes in COVID-19 incidence, and travel restrictions impeding in-person training, monitoring visits and delivery of supplies.
  • Opportunities exist to address these challenges through ensuring access to resources and building networks of partners sharing harmonised practices that can be rapidly mobilised and activated in emergency situations.
  • Investment in the development of such systems is required in advance of the next public health emergency.


Pioneer Group Announces Major New Life Sciences Hub in Central London

  • Amid critical shortage of London lab space, Grade-II listed Victoria House will be converted into 300,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art life sciences hub with first phase due to complete in Autumn 2024.
  • Increased venture capital activity, funding and support from the UK government, including the recently announced £650 million “Life Sci for Growth” package, as well as wider investor interest into life sciences research and development, continue to spur occupier demand.
  • Oxford and Pioneer Group plan to convert 220,000 sq ft of the building’s 300,000 sq ft internal area into Grade A state-of-the-art wet lab-enabled life sciences space. The cutting edge development will have customer wellbeing and sustainability at its core, with the project on track to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification and targeting EPC A energy rating.


Boost for women and girls as Women’s Health Strategy turns one

  • A year on from its Women’s Health Strategy, the government has announced a package of new measures to boost the health and wellbeing of women and girls.
  • £25 million will be distributed across England so every area can create a women’s health hub, with each integrated care board (ICB) set to receive £595,000 to meet local women’s health and wellbeing needs
  • The Women’s Health Ambassador for England, Professor Dame Lesley Regan, has formed a new network of women’s health champions – made up of senior leadership in every local care system and co-chaired with NHS England – who will use their leadership and experience to drive forward wider work to improve women’s health.


Health in 2040: projected patterns of illness in England – report

  • 1 million people in England are projected to be living with major illness by 2040, 2.5 million more than in 2019. This is an increase from almost 1 in 6 to nearly 1 in 5 of the adult population.
  • Much of the projected growth in illness relates to conditions such as anxiety and depression, chronic pain and diabetes, which are predominantly managed in primary care and the community. This reinforces the need for investment in general practice and community-based services, focusing on prevention and early intervention to reduce the impact of illness and improve the quality of people’s lives.
  • The number of people living with major illness is projected to increase by 37% – over a third – by 2040, nine times the rate at which the working age population (20–69-year-olds) is expected to grow (4%). This would create additional pressures on us all to care for and fund a growing population with high health and care needs.


Alzheimer’s: At-home finger-prick blood test may aid earlier diagnosis

  • Researchers found that finger prick tests may be effective for diagnosing and monitoring Alzheimer’s disease remotely.
  • Another study found that blood tests deliver over 85% accuracy in Alzheimer’s diagnosis, whereas primary care physicians have around 55% accuracy.
  • Blood tests may both increase the accuracy and accessibility of Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and monitoring.


WHO releases new guidance to improve testing and diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections

  • WHO’s new guidance includes target product profiles (TPPs) for point-of-care diagnostic technologies for diagnosing syphilis (treponema pallidum), Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis, which aim to facilitate development of quality STI diagnostics.
  • TPPs help to ensure that products are designed and manufactured to meet the clinical needs of populations at risk and are “fit-for-use” — meaning they are safe, effective and adapted to the use environment. Point-of-care tests can lower health-care costs, reduce waiting times, speed up initiation of and increase the accuracy of treatment, and improve patient follow-up.
  • A new fourth edition of the Laboratory and point-of-care diagnostic testing for STIs includingHIV provides up-to-date information on how to isolate, detect, and diagnose STIs, including HIV. The scope of the manual has been expanded to include information on the use of molecular tests, rapid point-of-care tests, and quality management of diagnostic tests.
  • A new product on the Diagnostics Landscape for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) highlights diagnostics available to support scale-up of screening for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, mycoplasma, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV) to meet the growing test demands in low-and-middle income countries. It complements the aforementioned manual.


Rethinking the in vitro diagnostic testing model in Europe – report

  • McKinsey has produced a report which examines how European health systems used in vitro diagnostic testing in new ways to tackle COVID-19 and how leaders can apply this monumental mobilisation to best use diagnostics as a means of transforming health outcomes in the future.
  • This includes outlining five priorities which can help heath systems to sustain the progress developed through the pandemic and continue the momentum into the future.