Local people have signed up to help a NHS Taunton based company who are finding people at risk of liver disease before they get symptoms.
Working with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Predictive Health Intelligence (PHI) has developed a computer system that scans existing blood test results to analyse long term trends that could show a higher risk of developing liver disease. By doing this, patients can be called to see a specialist and, if necessary, given advice and treatment to stop serious illness developing.
Dr Tim Jobson is a Consultant at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, based in Taunton, and the Medical Director of PHI. He said: “This is a simple yet powerful way to stop people developing liver disease, which remains – when untreated or found too late – one of the biggest killers in the UK today. We have already recalled people who had no obvious symptoms and put them on treatment that will help keep them free of liver disease.
Through all our development and decision making, it is vital that we hear from patients and members of the public. So, we have 11 volunteers in our reference group. We meet every few months and they help us make decisions about where our focus should be. They also review all of our communications – letters, leaflets, publicity – before they go out. They are not experts in medicine but their views are always very helpful.”
Peter Earnest of Taunton joined the group a few months ago. He said: “I personally got involved with PHI as an individual who had liver treatment. I think any disease that can be identified in the early stages is a positive for patients in managing good health. By identifying diseases at an early stage there will be less strain on the NHS and reduces the chances of patients being cared for on hospital wards at a later stage.”
Jeanette Keech is also a member of the group. She said “As a Governor of the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, I was very excited to learn about this Musgrove Hospital based project. This care of the liver project is based on a simple method of detection of potential problems earlier in life in order to avoid serious liver malfunction later in life. It is such a straightforward concept created by specialists from within our own, local, health organisation. Who wouldn’t want to get involved!”
To find out more about Predictive Health Intelligence go to www.predictivehealthintelliogenceco.uk. If you are interested in joining the Patient and Public Reference Group please contact the Communications Lead for PHI email@example.com . Those who attend meetings receive a £10 voucher to help cover their expenses.
Notes to editors:
Liver disease is one of the top five causes of early, preventable death in the UK. Last year, it claimed the lives of 26,000 people before their time, an estimated 100,000 years of lost life annually with a £6bn burden, fully 5% of the NHS budget. Yet liver disease is a silent, stealthy condition that often only reveals itself when it’s too late to treat.
Because it is often symptom-free, patients with the condition can present when it’s too late for effective treatment. But now, thanks to a pioneering partnership of clinical expertise, healthcare IT know-how, and NHS experience, there is a new tool available in the UK that’s taking the fight to liver disease. The new case-finding search engine, hepatoSIGHT, from Predictive Health Intelligence helps doctors identify patients who may be at risk of liver disease, simply, quickly, and securely.
There are many different kinds of liver disease. You can read more about them on the British Liver Trust website here.
You can also find more information about Liver disease on the NHS website here.