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Media Monitoring: 7th – 13th January

By January 13, 2023No Comments

Prostate cancer diagnosis ‘lottery’ sees regions lagging far behind London

  • Scottish men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer late than men in London
  • There is also a significant north-south divide, with all of the other poorest performing areas being outside of Southern England
  • The figures, commissioned by Prostate Cancer UK, were gathered between 2014 – 202

Medical device makers drop products as EU law sows chaos

  • The EU’s Medical Devices Regulation (MDR), effective from May 2021, states that all medical devices must meet stricter safety criteria, sometimes with new clinical trials – however, this is causing difficulties
  • Many manufacturers have stated that this is causing certification to be delayed significantly – up to two and half years compared to a few months under the old regime
  • Costs have also increased by as much as three to ten times, which is causing problems for manufacturers wanted to introduce innovative products

Saliva test found to provide quicker adrenal insufficiency diagnosis

  • The University of Sheffield designed test works by detecting ‘waking’ cortisol in saliva rather than the blood
  • This at-home test avoids a much lengthier process which involves visiting hospital and taking blood at 30 minute intervals
  • The new test was able to make an accurate diagnosis in 70% of patients at risk of adrenal insufficiency with the researchers estimating that rolling the test out could cut the number of hospital-based investigations for the problem by almost three quarters

Scientists develop blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

  • Utilising the blood test could mean avoiding the expensive brain imaging tests or lumbar puncture tests which are painful and invasive for patients
  • If validated, it could also lead to faster diagnosis, ensuring patients can begin treatment for the disease more quickly
  • The initial study, carried out on 600 patients, found that the blood test corresponded well with markers typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease

Surgical ‘smart’ knife detects womb cancer ‘in seconds’

  • The iKnife can detect when it cuts through cancerous tissue, thus allowing for diagnosis within seconds
  • The device works by ‘smelling’ the smoke during cauterisation and decides whether the chemical signature indicates the presence of cancer
  • This means that surgery time can be reduced and limits the need for multiple operations as surgeons can be given answers within seconds

UK genome project a ‘step change’ in tackling respiratory viruses

  • Researchers at the Sanger Institute aim to emulate the excellent pandemic surveillance work conducted during the first years of the pandemic
  • The Respiratory Virus and Microbiome Initiative will lay the groundwork for large-scale genomic surveillance of multiple respiratory viruses, such as influenza, RSV, adenovirus and rhinovirus and look for other emerging threats
  • The team is developing genome sequencing methods which could ultimately lead to NHS patients receiving viral diagnoses based on a single respiratory sample

The NHS Monthly Diagnostics data for October 2022 can be found here.

  • The total number of patients waiting six weeks or more from referral for one of the 15 key diagnostic tests at the end of November 2022 was 428,000. This was 26.9% of the total number of patients waiting at the end of the month.
  • Nationally, the operational standard of less than 1% of patients waiting six weeks or more was not met this month.
  • Compared with November 2021, the total number of patients waiting six weeks or more increased by 63,900 while the proportion of patients waiting six weeks or more increased by 1.8 percentage points.
  • The proportion of patients waiting six weeks or more at the end of a month has varied between 24.0% (February 2022) and 30.5% (August 2022).
  • The estimated average time that a patient had been waiting for a diagnostic test was 3.0 weeks at the end of November 2022.
  • There were 1,593,000 patients waiting for a key diagnostic test at the end of November 2022. This is an increase of 138,000 from November 2021.
  • A total of 2,172,200 diagnostic tests were undertaken in November 2022. This is an increase of 154,600 from November 2021.
Natalie Creaney