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Test-at-home blood tests for cancer patients approved

By May 14, 2024No Comments

Regulatory approval has been granted for a novel device aimed at reducing the hospitalisation time of cancer patients. Named Liberty, this device empowers patients to conduct blood tests and share the results from the comfort of their homes, independently and without supervision.

Advocates of Liberty highlight its potential to minimise the burden of frequent hospital visits on patients, while healthcare professionals anticipate enhanced productivity within the NHS. Following successful trials at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, Liberty is set to be implemented at 12 NHS facilities.

Despite its promising outlook, Cancer Research UK underscores the necessity for further evaluation, emphasising that the device has only undergone trials with a limited number of participants to date.

The treatment journey for cancer patients involves a series of blood tests to monitor various health indicators. The Liberty device, approximately the size of a small printer, enables direct transmission of blood sample analyses from home to hospital teams.

Transitioning blood testing from hospital settings to patients’ homes not only enhances convenience but also holds potential cost-saving implications for the NHS.

Notably, the Christie Hospital has initiated initiatives like “bloods closer to home,” positioning phlebotomy units across the region. While trials conducted at the Christie have shown promising results, the sample size remains relatively small.

In recent studies, 22 patients participated in home-based trials, supplemented by regulatory approval trials involving 470 patients. However, Cancer Research urges cautious interpretation of these findings due to the limited participant pool.

Ben Kemp