Included below are news items from the last six months.
Lab Tests Online-UK was recently recommended in a report published on digital technology in the healthcare system by the Nuffield Trust. Entitled “The Digital Patient: Transforming Primary Care?”, the report highlights the current state of digital technology and how new advances within the healthcare setting may help improve the patient experience and other outcomes.
Premature coronary heart disease can result from the inheritance of a genetic defect from one parent that raises the blood plasma cholesterol concentration from birth. If the condition familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is detected early, treatment can prevent premature disease. At present all close relatives of an affected individual are offered screening tests. A UK study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on 27 October 2016 found that screening all toddlers during a routine vaccination visit to 92 general practice surgeries identified both children and parents at risk. Of 10,095 one year old children who were tested over three years, 28 (0.3%) were found to have FH; 28 parents also had FH of whom 25 started cholesterol-lowering treatment.
In a news item on 1 February 2016 we reported the recommendation of the UK National Screening Committee that non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) of mother’s blood in early pregnancy be offered to those with high risk results from current screening tests for Down’s syndrome. This would decrease the number of false positives and so reduce the number of potential miscarriages from invasive diagnostic procedures. The Department of Health has now approved the test for implementation. It is expected to be rolled out over the next three years once staff have been trained and the technology made available.