PocDoc, the digital health platform and personal diagnostics provider, has secured the UKCA mark for its smartphone-based test for cholesterol.
PocDoc’s technology allows users with a smartphone and the PocDoc app to deliver a blood test for major diseases within minutes. PocDoc’s cholesterol test is the first in a product roadmap that will see the company move into the detection of diabetes, kidney and liver diseases, female hormone imbalance and more.
New research released by the company finds that NHS waiting times are the top reason for Brits over 25 not seeking help from their doctor (41%). This is followed by those not wanting to burden an already overstretched health service (27%) and results taking too long (18%).
Blood testing is a particular problem area, with the need for faster, more accessible alternatives for regular blood testing of key disease biomarkers. PocDoc’s research found that nearly three quarters (73%) of Brits over 55 have never tested their cholesterol – a key risk factor for CVD and a requirement for cholesterol-lowering treatments.
With CVD causing a quarter of all deaths in the UK, identifying those at highest risk early on is critical, ensuring people receive appropriate treatment, saving lives and reducing the strain on health services.
PocDoc hopes the launch of its cholesterol test will help remove some of the stress and anxiety around testing, making it easier for people to get checked more regularly, as well as help reduce the strain on the NHS.
Solutions to help ease the pressure on the NHS are in high demand, with personal diagnostics presenting a major opportunity and blood testing ready for disruption.
PocDoc’s research suggests widespread openness to personal diagnostics across the UK. Seven in ten Brits (69%) would prefer to take a finger prick blood test than have a needle in their arm and nearly three in five (59%) would prefer to receive their test results via smartphone and not wait for an appointment with a doctor.
The cholesterol test allows anyone with a smartphone to do a blood test for their cholesterol levels, measuring five key markers associated with heart health – Total Cholesterol, HDL, Non-HDL, Total Cholesterol ratio and Triglycerides. Patients using the test take a finger prick blood sample, which they apply to a lateral flow test device (LFT). The PocDoc app is used to fill out a Health Questionnaire with key heart health related questions then the app asks the user to take a photo of the LFT. Results are received on the PocDoc app – all within six minutes – and a health assessment report is emailed to them in real time, combining their health questionnaire with their actual blood test results.
Following successful trials, the cholesterol test is going to be rolled out via PocDoc’s network of pharmacy partnerships to power all health checks, before then being offered direct to businesses, the NHS, and other healthcare providers.
As well as powering the PocDoc tests developed in-house, the company’s cloud AI diagnostics platform digitises any lateral flow test and can power all smartphone-based home diagnostics for healthcare providers. It has been used in the detection of COVID-19 and polio, and PocDoc’s product roadmap will see it used for the detection of diabetes, kidney and liver diseases, female hormone imbalance and more.
Steve Roest, CEO and co-founder of PocDoc, said: “Our research shows many Brits are choosing to put off treatment to reduce the burden on the NHS. But reducing pressure on the NHS shouldn’t have to mean jeopardising your health.“Increasing access to testing is one of the major ways we could alleviate strain on the NHS, as it’s well known that the process for the standard blood test – from drawing blood to the receipt of results – is costly and inefficient.
“With CVD health care costs in England alone costing £7.4 billion a year, our revolutionary technology means that Brits can now get tested for high cholesterol and receive their results within minutes on their smartphone. It’s a significant win for patients as it promises easier testing and earlier detection of this significant threat to their health. And it’s also a big win for the NHS, as early detection of high cholesterol can help avoid long and costly treatment down the line. It could save millions per year by helping free up desperately needed clinical time.”