Steve Roest, CEO and co-founder at PocDoc, talks to us about the impact HealthTech could have in the UK
Everyone knows how difficult it can be to get a blood test through traditional methods, and it’s only getting harder. This means that many diseases and health conditions aren’t being detected early enough and people are missing out on vital treatment.
Compounded by the backlogs caused by COVID, the lack of access to blood tests for regular health screening is creating a ticking timebomb in public health.
People are taking control of their own health data
My wife Kiran and I felt for a long time that the key to fighting dangerous diseases is to increase access to testing, as early detection of anything serious can reduce its health implications. We both had personal experiences of family members struggling to get blood tests through traditional methods, such as Kiran’s father who was refused a cholesterol check by his GP. It got us thinking that routine testing should be made more available to the public. We went on to create PocDoc together in 2020 and were the first app-based COVID-19 screening service in the UK.
We saw during the pandemic this huge shift to self-testing, as it was required to get on with our daily lives. One of the positive outcomes of this is that many people are now taking control of their own health and want to be able to have access to their own health data immediately.
Personal diagnostics will reduce pressure on the NHS in the wake of the pandemic
HealthTech which encourages personal diagnostics can free up desperately needed clinical time for the NHS while also helping people to detect potential health issues earlier for a fraction of the price of lab testing, helping to avoid long and costly treatment down the line and improve health outcomes across the board.
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Take cardiovascular disease as an example. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest killer in the world – but unlike cancer, it is largely preventable. CVD is a major issue for health and social care in the UK, placing a considerable financial burden on the NHS and wider society, with CVD-related healthcare costs alone in England amounting to an estimated £7.4 billion per year*.
We’ve just announced that this Spring we’ll be launching a world-first smartphone-based test for cardiovascular disease, allowing people to test themselves via a blood prick from anywhere and getting results in just six minutes through their smartphone instead of waiting days or weeks for the same result through a standard lab test.
We’ve estimated that this technology could save the NHS millions per year from reduced staff costs, administrative savings, reduced pathology costs and improved health outcomes just for cardiovascular disease.
HealthTech innovation will continue to support the NHS
Starting with cardiovascular disease this Spring, we will be continuing to release tests for major diseases which will allow anyone with a smartphone to test for them at home, including type 2 diabetes, female hormone imbalance, kidney and liver diseases and more in the near future.
Our hope and mission is that HealthTech, like PocDoc, can support the NHS and continue to combat health inequality and help people to take control of their own health.