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University Hospital Southampton to extend at-home testing pilot for pregnant women

A digital clinical diagnostics and diabetes home testing provider, Digostics, and University Hospital Southampton NHS FT (UHS) are piloting a new at-home test for expectant mothers.

It involves an at-home oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), developed to improve screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

It means expectant mothers will be able to take the test at home, that would previously have been tested at a clinic. The test involves an initial blood test, the immediate consumption of a glucose drink and then a second blood test after a two hour wait, to detect for GDM. The test kit is mailed to the expectant mother at the time the test is due, and when the user completes the test they can send their data to UHS using a smartphone app.

A first phase pilot of the test at UHS involved a small number of patients in November 2022, and is now being extended to more patients. The solution achieved UKCA and CE market authorisation in 2022, following this initial pilot.

Matthew Coleman, consultant obstetrician, UHS, commented: “We hope this revolutionary new at-home test is going to dramatically change the way we deliver gestational diabetes testing during antenatal care. Not only is it better for the patients to self-test in the convenience of their own home, cutting down the number of antenatal appointments they attend, but it will also free up precious NHS time and resources.

“From the admin resources it takes to book and manage clinics, the clinical time taken to run the service and the clinic space taken, this can all now be done with a simple test at home using the GTT@home kit. In addition, patients are able to test at the earliest opportunity, meaning fewer delays and, if gestational diabetes is detected, they can be treated and managed quickly helping to keep them and their babies safe.”