The NHS could save almost £7bn in five years if it adopts new diagnostic tests as they come onto the market, new research shows.
A new report commissioned by Innovate UK and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) shows that a small of number of hospitals are using in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) which could result in huge savings to the NHS if adopted more widely.
IVDs can benefit patients by offering an accurate and less invasive way to diagnose and monitor conditions.
In particular, three new tests for heart attack, pre-eclampsia and inflammatory bowel disease would benefit patients by reducing unnecessary procedures and medication whilst also driving savings.
The report calls on healthcare leaders and policy makers to reassess how these three tests, alongside other diagnostic technologies, could be better deployed on the NHS.
The report states that ‘failure to tackle these obstacles wastes a valuable opportunity for the NHS and its patients. However, there is some progress being made – the government recognises that the NHS can be slow to adopt new technologies and has recently launched the Accelerated Access Collaborative programme. With this progress in mind, healthcare bosses and policy makers must now follow through on ensuring that these and other cost-saving IVDs are no longer overlooked by the NHS, in its 8th decade and beyond.’
Doris-Ann Williams, BIVDA’s chief executive, said: “Whilst 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.”
Dr Kath Mackay, Innovate UK Interim Director for Ageing Society, Health & Nutrition, said: “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.”