App turns mobile phone into a clinical grade scanner

An innovative testing app that turns a mobile phone into a clinical grade scanner and is supporting NHS Trusts to “save money, time and lives” has been rolled out at a London NHS hospital and made available for all NHS Trusts in the UK.

This winter it has been successfully used to test for COVID 19 and Influenza at the same time with the world’s first rapid Dual Flu and COVID test at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The ClearScreen app, developed by UK based diagnostics technology company TestCard, immediately records patients’ test results digitally and transmits them to the electronic patient record (EPR) in seconds, meaning the result is available to all clinical teams in real time. 

Previous testing of this nature was laboratory based and clinicians would not receive results for 4-24 hours. With the ClearScreen app, the test and results were done in under 10 minutes. Before deploying the test this winter, London’s St Thomas’ Hospital ran an extensive pilot in its Emergency Department (A&E) of the ClearScreen app for 12 months using lateral flow tests to test for COVID-19. An initial review of the pilot by Guys’ and St Thomas’ found there was:

  • Recording of lateral flow COVID-19 results in the patient record increased from 30% to over 95%
  • Identification of 3-4 asymptomatic A&E admissions per day, preventing possible hidden transmission events 
  • Repeat testing was reduced by 75% due to the immediate availability of results in the electronic patient record
  • Improved patient flow thanks to faster LFT testing and the ClearScreen app. 

The pilot was such a success, patients attending A&E at St Thomas’ with respiratory problems became the first in the world to use a rapid Dual Flu and COVID test which is read by ClearScreen and shared immediately with clinicians. The clinicians describe it as a ‘game-changer.’

The test is a dual Lateral Flow Device - testing for both COVID-19, Influenza A, and Influenza B at the same time - using a single nasal swab. It is then scanned and reported using the ClearScreen app. ClearScreen is a digital reading, recording, and reporting solution for medical tests. The solution comprises a mobile app which can be deployed quickly and at low cost into any clinical environment, allowing rapid testing and recording of test results at the point of care. 

Within minutes of arrival at St Thomas’ A&E, patients are swabbed, tested, and cohorted, keeping staff, patients, and visitors safer from cross-infections and keeping patients moving through the hospital. 

Guy’s and St Thomas’ saw significant cost and time savings in the winter Flu season by using inexpensive lateral flow tests paired with ClearScreen instead of PCRs. It’s hoped that the ClearScreen app, which has been validated by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, could now be rolled out more widely.

Developed and manufactured by SureScreen Diagnostics, the dual Flu and COVID test has passed the UK Health Security Agency’s Coronavirus Test Device Approvals (CTDA) process. The Trust incorporated this test into their winter planning in anticipation of a challenging winter season for the NHS. Rapid testing helps to ease the pressures on the NHS, allowing for quick test results that can be acted upon immediately, while mitigating risk for everyone. TestCard's technology is also available for people buying TestCard UTI tests from Superdrug. It’s already saved GP's time by allowing people to test and receive treatment at home whilst also sharing the results with their doctor.

Elmer Monster, Chief Executive Officer at TestCard said: “TestCard is going to transform the way the NHS does testing. The pilot at Guy’s & St Thomas’ shows that ClearScreen has the potential to help NHS Trusts save money, time and lives. 

“It cuts repeat testing, offers speedier and more accurate results and cuts the admin of healthcare professionals so they can spend more time looking after patients. Just as important, it improves patient flow so they can be seen and treated quicker.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Guy’s and St Thomas’ and SureScreen to implement our industry-leading scanning technology to make point-of-care testing faster, more reliable and more accessible. This is critical as it saves the hospitals time and other resources and has a positive impact on patient outcomes.”

Further information can be viewed via a webinar here or the full case study can be downloaded from www.clearscreen.com

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