Bench-to-bedside, in vitro diagnostics in primary care - towards a diagnostic evidence toolkit

Frameworks for diagnostic testsThe ultimate aim of this programme is to improve the quality and effectiveness of diagnostic tools available within the NHS. We will develop collaborations between frontline clinicians, diagnostic test researchers, the diagnostics industry, NICE diagnostics programme, and other relevant NHS groups to bring into primary care the newest medical technology across a range of common diseases.

Our team works across five multidisciplinary research themes which aim to:

  • Develop methods to identify and prioritise new and emerging diagnostic technologies, through meeting with the diagnostics industry and scanning both journal and industry resources
  • Evaluate which in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) are needed in primary care settings in the UK and other western countries, to help prioritise research and development efforts
  • Find better ways  of integrating point of care tests with laboratory services and clinical information systems
  • Understand the impact of diagnostic tests on patients and front line clinicians in order to facilitate wider implementation if IVDs by utilising the teams considerable experience of point of care testing in hospital settings, primary care settings and in patient homes/nursing homes
  • Improve the efficiency of research designs for diagnostics, including better ways of translating research findings from one type of clinical setting to another. 

Through these activities we will develop a “diagnostic evidence toolkit” which will propose a common approach to understanding the evidence needs at each step from test development to adoption, including what evidence is needed, what study designs are appropriate, which research designs are most efficient, and which translate between countries and different settings.  

Consultancy from Oxford University Consulting (OUC) to advise IVD companies on the evidence base required to support the adoption of their new IVDs simultaneously promotes better informed clinical decision-making and improved NHS commissioning. Ultimately leading to improvements in healthcare services as patients will access the most appropriate treatments more quickly and help the NHS make the best uses of its resources.