Aseptika’s simple Activ8rlives self-care system and home-use sputum test gives patients with long term respiratory disease early warning of chest infections, so that they can be treated effectively at home and reduce unplanned hospital admissions. The technology has the potential to save the NHS in excess of £50 million a year.
People with long-term respiratory diseases such as COPD, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis and asthma are susceptible to chest infections, with each episode adding more damage to their lungs. By the time a patient realises they have a chest infection, it’s often serious enough to need prolonged treatment in hospital. The NHS spends around £4.7 billion annually on treating lung disease. Hospital admissions are also very disruptive for patients, particularly older patients who can lose independence during a hospital stay.
Early advice from Eastern AHSN led to Aseptika securing SBRI funding to extend its Activ8rlives self-care system which tracks and analyses blood oxygen, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, body mass and lung function.
Aseptika have been involved in several clinical trials. Eastern AHSN supported the team to successfully navigate the system. Patients on a clinical trial recorded their own results using a bespoke iPad app. All of the data feeds into the individual’s account on the Activ8rlives website, to give the patient along with those involved in their care an accurate picture of whether they could be sliding towards an exacerbation.
A second aspect involved developing a new biomarker test for patients with COPD and bronchiectasis, to give early warning of a chest infection, which is known in clinical terms as an exacerbation. Identifying and treating exacerbations at an early stage greatly increases the chance that the patient can be safely treated at home. The test detects the level of lung bacteria in a sample of sputum and will be simple enough for patients to use at home every day. If the bacteria levels are raised, the patient can start taking their ‘standby’ antibiotics straight away. Subsequent daily tests show when treatment can be stopped, or if the patient needs to change medications.
Spring 2016 marks the start of the first use of the Activ8rlives package within the NHS. A multidisciplinary respiratory disease team in Liverpool will support 20 patients to monitor their condition at home using the Activ8rlives tools. The team operates a 24-hour respiratory helpline and during the trial, clinicians answering helpline calls will be able to view the patient’s Activ8rlives data for an objective view of their condition which will help them to give appropriate advice.
- Aseptika’s home sputum test and self-monitoring package can reliably predict exacerbations in people with long-term respiratory conditions 7-21 days before the patient would typically seek help.
- Patients find the self-monitoring tools and Activ8rlives website easy to use and this has led to adherence rates of over 90% and up to 99% in some trials.
- Participants have described how self-monitoring has given them greater insight into their health and helped them to make positive changes in their lives. One individual with bronchiectasis achieved a 20% improvement in lung function and was no longer classed as being at high risk of hospitalisation.
- Aseptika was involved in the EAHSN COPD test bed bid and has been selected as an innovation partner for the Sheffield test bed site, where it will be integrating the self-monitoring package into new respiratory disease care pathways.
- UK patent for the home-based sputum test awarded in 2013, with patents in other markets following.
- Aseptika has established a core team of six employees in Cambridgeshire, plus a UK-wide network of collaborators and advisors.
- Aseptika attended the EAHSN procurement training in 2015. Sales of Aseptika’s direct-to-consumer products, which include an activity tracker and peak flow meter, are growing. More than 80,000 people have signed up to monitor their health using the Activ8rlives website.
“Working with the NHS in Liverpool and Sheffield will allow us to demonstrate the impact that technology can have on hospitalisation rates for patients with long-term respiratory conditions, through empowering patients to take control of their own health and giving clinicians access to reliable monitoring data”.
“The SBRI Healthcare competition process enabled us to make a real difference in the care of long-term respiratory disease. It has been more than just funding… without it, the novel products we are developing would never have been developed”.
Kevin Auton, Managing Director, Aseptika