Forte Medical joins ABHI UK Healthcare Pavilion

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) recently launched the UK Healthcare Pavilion, a single platform to unite MedTech companies with the UK healthcare sectors, both NHS and private. Forte Medical is very happy to have joined such an august and respected portfolio of companies, providers and innovators.  Our entry features films about our technology featuring advocates, policy makers, healthcare professionals and the AHSN Network. Click here to view.

Antibiotics and urinary tract infections

Antibiotics, better tests, UTI: Guardian publishes Forte response

A rise in persistent UTIs could be linked to antibiotic crackdown appeared in The Guardian on Saturday 5th October. As usual, no-one mentioned accurate basic specimen collection, which can lead to unwarranted specimen quality variation, failed analysis and less-than-targeted prescribing. Giovanna Forte had something to say. Click here to read her published letter.

Comment: The Basic Diagnostic Failure That Affects 1 in 3 Women

Its time to reignite our NHS! Now our beloved health system has been blessed with new funding, we can furnish every hospital and GP practice with the latest digital technology and AI. We can burnish the reputations of our healthcare leaders because they have modernized patient care. 

It seems it is so much easier to spend new money, than it is to fix a failing system. Yet while this exciting digital revolution takes place, the Department of Health and NHS continue to fail 15m patients every year, whilst flushing £1.2bn of public funds down the loo. This is more than a shame; it’s a scandal.

There is one basic diagnostic process which is not as sexy as glittering new tech. It doesn’t excite our healthcare commentators. It will not invest our clinical leadership with shiny accolades that add kudos to reputation. It will not be covered by the media because it’s a waste product that no one really likes to talk about. Yet this waste product carries as much, if not more diagnostic clues to our health as its counterpart, blood. We need to talk about urine.

“If you don’t make the effort to collect the urine specimen properly, all the clever stuff you do later is pretty pointless. It’s a case of rubbish in, rubbish out,” says a Senior Microbiologist at Barts’ Heath NHS Trust. “The need for change is likely to be politically driven, rather than scientifically.”  The science is evident, the political will is not.

The lack of any protocol for urine collection is causing persistent, widespread and expensive diagnostic failure that starts in the GP surgery. For unreliable frontline diagnoses lead to critical conditions, hospital admissions, and expensive, complex treatment, not to mention the millions of patients who continue to suffer. This is not the fault of our hardworking and overstretched GPs and frontline nursing staff.  It is our healthcare leaders who persistently overlook the need to make urine analysis and treatment right-first-time.

Take urinary tract infection (UTI), a condition largely suffered by women. The last relevant data to come out of the NHS Unplanned Admissions Committee cites untreated UTI as the cause of 184,000 unplanned hospital admissions that cost the NHS £434m to treat (2013/14). This is hardly surprising when we know that 20-30% of initial antibiotic prescribing for UTI fails (Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Campaign CUTIC).

The majority of these annual 15m diagnostic failures will relate to women, who with UTI, suffer the most pain, most time off work and loss of income, whilst being prescribed the highest rate of broad-spectrum antibiotics, putting us firmly in the front line of antibiotic immunity. The need for a robust protocol around urine analysis has become critical. Data from CUTIC tells us that:

  • 1.4m women suffer from chronic bladder pain and urinary dysfunction
  • 1 in 3 women will have a UTI by the age of 24
  • 50% of dipstick tests don’t detect infection
  • 70% of infections risk recurrence within a year
  • 47% of Gram-negative blood infections have a urinary source and can lead to potentially fatal sepsis

NHS Improvement advises that 50% of the global rise in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has a urinary cause; yet our health service still routinely relies on unreliable dipstick tests to indicate infection, leading to broad spectrum antibiotics remaining the first prescribing port of call; for the pregnant woman this is highly undesirable as it can extend life-long risk of antibiotic immunity to the unborn child.

Overuse of antibiotics is directly linked to the lack of a protocol for urine collection, transportation and analysis. National contamination rates are as high as 70% in some areas of the country, a postcode lottery situation that fails patients, microbiologists and the clinicians whose job it is to make people better. Non-invasive and cheap to collect, urine can help diagnose myriad conditions that cost the NHS billions of pounds. They include:

  • Kidney stones, infection and disease
  • Bladder cancer
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Liver disease
  • Pre-eclampsia and other potentially serious pregnancy related conditions

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Professor Tim Briggs, founding father of the Department of Health’s NHS Getting It Right First Time programme (GIRFT) both cite the need to eliminate variation in national diagnosis and treatment. We must challenge them to make the changes necessary to this most basic diagnostic process, to save lives, save money and create a solid foundation upon which the evolution of diagnostic medicine can flourish.

Right now, the best digital diagnostic technology in the world that relies on urine, won’t work. If the basics are right, the rest can follow. If they are not, then Mr Hancock and Professor Briggs … keep on flushing.

Giovanna Forte What is Peezy Midstream

Maximising our MedTech Might

The benefits of working with the NIHR are clearly demonstrated through past posts and this is the latest to come out of Forte Medical NIHR partnership…

“CEO of Forte Medical, describes how the NIHR supported her company to generate clinical evidence for the Peezy™ Mid-Stream Urine device – an easier, cleaner and more reliable urine sample collection. Watch the full video here: https://lnkd.in/gY-6MMx

Or get in touch: supportmystudy@nihr.ac.uk

Sheena Byrom Joins Our Advisory Panel

We are delighted to announce the appointment of consultant midwife and lifelong campaigner for positive childbirth, Sheena Byrom OBE to our Advisory Panel.

Sheena Byrom is a practising midwife of 40 years, having worked in the NHS for most of that time. One of the UK’s first consultant midwives, and as head of midwifery, she successfully helped to lead the development of three birth centres in East Lancashire. An international speaker, Sheena provides consultancy services to both NHS Trusts and to organisations globally; helping them to support normal, physiological childbirth. She is involved in several midwifery related charities, and is one of the project leads of the Midwifery Unit Network, which assists and promotes midwifery led units (birth centres) both online, and face-to-face. Sheena and her midwife daughter Anna Byrom are the proud new owners of The Practising Midwife, and an exciting online platform All4Materity.com – the go to place for maternity workers to learn, share and care.

Sheena’s midwifery memoirs, Catching Babies, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and her seminal book, The Roar Behind the Silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care jointly edited with Soo Downe, is being used as a resource to improve maternity care throughout the world.  Sheena and Soo are currently editing a second book, ‘Squaring the Circle: researching normal childbirth in a technological world’, will be published in 2019.

Sheena was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to midwifery, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in 2015. In 2016 and 2018, Sheena received Honorary Doctorates from Bournemouth University and the University of Central Lancashire, and in 2017 she was made a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University. Her personal and midwifery related website is sheenabyrom.com.

Sheena is committed to the humanisation of childbirth, to maximising normal physiological birth processes, and for all women to experience a positive birth. The global onslaught of medical technology as a means to improve safety continues to influence childbearing women’s physiology and autonomy, and her work to reverse the trend is ongoing.

Commenting on her appointment, Giovanna Forte said: “With over 5 million urine samples provided every year by pregnant women and up to 1 in 4 of those being contaminated, it is incredibly important to us to have someone of Sheena’s expertise, knowledge and practical experience in the antenatal sector to help us.  We very much look forward to working with her to positively change attitudes towards urine specimen collection and further help improve right-first-time diagnosis and appropriate treatment for pregnant women as well as the well-being of mother and baby.”

 

Peezy Usability Study Forte Medical

Peezy Midstream Case Study at NHS NIHR Conference 2018

Back in March of this year, the NHS National Institute for Health Research contacted Forte Medical, asking for a case study demonstrating how their research has assisted the launch of Peezy Midstream.

A few months earlier the NIHR in conjunction with the West Midlands AHSN conducted a valuable Usability Study on our diagnostic device. Results were excellent and have assisted us with adoption training and reassurance to HCPs and patients alike that using Peezy Midstream is far, far easier than trying to deliver this elusive urine specimen any other way …

The case study presented by Giovanna Forte on 10th October 2018 was very well received and has already led to enquiries from Primary Care clinicians who can see the benefit of right-first-time diagnoses for UTI and other common conditions that can take up so much GP time when left untreated.

2018 NIHR Peezy Presentation

NIHR_PeezyMidstream-Case-Study

Giovanna Forte on TV

Disruptive TV: Giant Live Health Innovators

Barry Shrier, Founder of annual health innovation event Giant Live, presents the third Disruptor Giant Health Innovators TV interview featuring Giovanna Forte, CEO of Forte Medical, Francis White from AliveCor, Dr Sophie Bostoc​k of Sleepio and Etienne Bourdon from Healthy Health. Watch the half-hour programme here with Disruptive Live

Make sure your bladder is full | urine sample

Peezy Animation: instructions for use

How easy is Peezy? Very! Click here to see our new animation showing five simple steps that deliver right-first-time urine specimen collection. Any clinician will know that contamination can prevent or delay diagnoses; Peezy makes prompt analysis, diagnosis and treatment simple and cost effective.

Current Tests Fail to Diagnose Up To 50% of Chronic UTIs

Cystitis or urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common bacterial infection in the UK and around half of all women will experience at least one in their lifetime.  UTI accounts for 1-3% of GP appointments. Even for simple infections rates of recurrence are high. 20-30% of patients fail initial antibiotic treatment and up to 70% experience another UTI within a year.

CUTIC, The Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Campaign, was founded by a group of sufferers of chronic UTIs to lobby Parliament and seek change in the testing, diagnosis and treatment of chronic urinary tract infections.

They have produced an Information Sheet for patients to take to their GP – it can be read here.

Urology Awareness Month

Forte Medical Forum 2017 Urine Trouble: why a diagnostic standard is overdue

UrologyAwarenessMonth

Forte Medical Forum
26th September 2017, 0900-1400hrs
Royal College of Physicians, London

Our second annual Forum highlights the urgent need for a urine collection gold standard; disparate methods in use across the UK result in contamination rates that range from 0.3% to over 70%, making successful urine-based diagnostics a national lottery. Come and meet leading NHS and other game-changers who gather here to present the case for accurate basic medicine, without which Hospital Acquired Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance cannot be successfully challenged. Register at Eventbrite.