Researchers say the U.K.’s NHS could save $8B by adopting new diagnostic tests

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Researchers say new diagnostic tests could help the U.K.’s National Health Service save more than $8 billion in five years. (Getty Images/Moussa810

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.

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"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.