Deep vein thrombosis diagnostic device

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms within the deep veins of the limbs. If left untreated, half of these blood clots will travel to the lungs, forming a pulmonary embolism, which is a leading cause of death. There are 104,000 annual cases of DVT in the UK, costing the NHS £640 million. A 2016 survey of over 1000 UK GPs indicated that a more accurate DVT diagnosis is the top need to reduce referrals.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed an easy-to-use point-of-care solution that can help to screen DVT patients in primary care, avoiding the need for unnecessary referrals and treatments.

The deep vein thrombosis problem

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms within the deep veins of the limbs. If left untreated, half of these blood clots will travel to the lungs, forming a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is a leading cause of death, greater than AIDS, breast cancer, prostate cancer and car crashes combined. Each year, DVT affects around 1 person in every 1,000 in the UK and the total cost burden to the UK of management of DVT and PE is estimated at approximately £640 million. Globally, the clot management devices market was valued at $1.26 billion in 2015 and is further expected to reach a value of $1.88 billion by 2024.

Ultrasound is the standard method for the diagnosis of DVT. However, an ultrasound procedure has to be performed a trained radiologist and requires a referral to the hospital. Currently, only 15% of hospital referrals have confirmed DVT. Unnecessary referrals for patients with suspected DVT cost the NHS more than £100M per year. There is an added problem with hospital referrals as it often requires the GP to prescribe preventative anticoagulants, posing a further unnecessary health risk. A 2016 survey of over 1000 UK GPs indicated that a more accurate DVT diagnosis is the top need to reduce referrals.

A point-of-care solution

Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed an easy-to-use point-of-care solution that can improve screening of DVT patients in primary care, avoiding the need for unnecessary referrals and treatments.

Oxford University Innovation is seeking partners to license this innovative technology and support its continued development. A patent application has been filed to cover this method.

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