Researchers say that by quickly adopting new diagnostic tests, the U.K.’s National Health Service could save more than $8 billion (£6.9 billion) over the next five years.
The research—commissioned by Innovate UK and the British in Vitro Diagnostics Association—said the benefits from adopting three new tests targeted at heart attacks, pre-eclampsia and inflammatory bowel disease would reduce unnecessary procedures and medication while also helping the NHS trim what is expected to be a shortfall of $23.2 billion (£20 billion) by 2022.
The report wants healthcare leaders and policymakers to take a look at the three high-impact diagnostics, along with many others currently available, and how they could be used within the NHS.
"There are so many innovative diagnostic tests on the market and in development,” Kath Mackay, Innovate UK‘s Interim Director for Aging Society, Health & Nutrition, said in a statement. “It's important for all stakeholders that we take every opportunity to rapidly adopt tests which show cost savings and benefit to patients."
Last year, the NHS announced it was scaling up a program to detect lung cancer earlier and also unveiled a new test to catch bowel cancer. That decision was based on the success of the Manchester scanning program that used mobile scanners to detect 4 out of 5 cases of lung cancer in the early stages. The mobile scanning trucks were able to find one cancer for every 33 patients scanned over the course of a year.
The service also said it would begin using FIT, a more sensitive bowel cancer test that is expected to catch as many as 1,500 more cancer cases in their early stages each year.