Every month in Somerset, the NHS analyses blood samples from 18,000 people. 2,000 of these tests reveal markers of liver disease. That shows that one in nine of the population are at risk.
But a single blood test with abnormal liver function doesn’t prove that patient has liver disease. It just means that their doctor should keep an eye on them.
Currently, neither GPs nor hospital doctors have IT systems that enable them to routinely and systematically monitor the markers of liver disease in the general population over time.
Because liver disease is a silent, stealthy killer that often isn’t found until it’s too late for treatment, the condition is one of the leading causes of premature death, killing 26,000 people each year.
HepatoSIGHT allows doctors to treat more at-risk patients before it’s too late, saving lives and the potential to save the NHS tens of millions of the £6bn it spends every year on liver disease.
2,000 abnormal monthly blood tests in Somerset means a quarter of a million in the UK. That’s as many people as live in Southampton, Wolverhampton, or Newcastle, all of whom may have undiagnosed liver disease.
HepatoSIGHT from Predictive Health Intelligence. Changing healthcare, one undiagnosed case at a time.
John was in his mid-50s.
He didn’t drink that much. He wasn’t as active as he had been in his 40s, but he did try to walk the dog every night. He was overweight, thanks to his weakness for sugary drinks and fatty food.
After months of feeling a bit under the weather, John went to see his GP. His GP ran some blood tests and, when she noticed some abnormal results, she referred him to a local liver specialist.
A week before his appointment, John woke up in the night vomiting blood. He was rushed into hospital, and quickly diagnosed – by the consultant he was due to meet – with liver cirrhosis.
Like more than a fifth of all patients admitted with liver disease, John didn’t leave hospital alive. Because liver disease is a silent, stealthy killer, neither John nor his GP had any idea how sick he was. John’s GP felt like she’d let her patient and her patient’s family down. John slipped through the net.
The GP cursed the IT systems and data management protocols that meant the results of his blood tests didn’t join up. Now she looked at them, trended over time, the problem was clear to see.
The next month, the GP read about a new company called Predictive Health Intelligence which had created a new case-finding search engine called HepatoSIGHT designed to identify patients at risk of conditions like liver disease.
She agreed to her practice data being uploaded to the system, enabling local specialists to identify patients in her practice in need of treatment.
The GP contributed to the local healthy liver programme, calling in the 25 patients with the most worrying liver function, ranked according to the blood test results.
17 were found to have liver disease and their care was taken on by the NHS Trust for simple and straightforward treatment. This stopped them from dying early and saved the Trust the hugely expensive costs of end-of-life care for each of them. Sadly, it was too late for John.