New test for accurate differentiation of stroke types launched at Goodwood FOS Future Lab
A ground-breaking new test which improves the accuracy of stroke diagnosis has been developed by Randox scientists.
The rapid and highly sensitive blood test, which is due to be unveiled at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, can uniquely differentiate between ischaemic strokes (a blood clot) and haemorrhagic strokes (a bleed) and subsequently enable clinicians to rapidly administer the most effective treatment, which is a vital factor in limiting permanent damage.
What’s even more remarkable is that the pioneering diagnostic, appearing as part of the festival’s Future Lab exhibition, takes less than 30 minutes to complete – making sure patients get the right diagnosis as fast as possible.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, whose team developed the test, commented;
“There is great tragedy in the fact that the majority of stroke damage can be minimised if intervention is delivered on time, yet too often the window closes before a diagnosis is made. For doctors, nothing is more frustrating.
“Excellent work has been undertaken to assist the public in recognising the signs of a stroke so people can get to hospital as quickly as possible. Our stroke test is the vital next step – assisting clinicians in making a rapid diagnosis and differentiation between haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke, so their patients get the right treatment at the right time.”
Traditionally the first step in a stroke diagnosis is a CT scan, which, despite its ability to successfully diagnose haemorrhagic stroke, is significantly less capable of identifying ischaemic stroke.
Yet ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke and affects almost nine in ten patients. Its diagnosis and differentiation from haemorrhagic stroke is vital in enabling thrombolytic treatment to break down blood clots, which, given its nature, could be fatal if administered to a patient suffering from a haemorrhagic stroke. Worryingly though, in some areas of the UK, as little as 15% of eligible stroke patients receive this therapy in time.1
This is caused by a number of factors, including difficulty in determining stroke onset time, exceeding the appropriate time window for thrombolysis administration (4.5 hours from stroke onset), and importantly, not being able to differentiate ischaemic stroke from a number of other ‘stroke mimics’ including severe migraine, brain tumours, drug overdose and seizures.
The Randox Stroke Biochip successfully identifies ischaemic stroke in a rapid test which measures eight markers from a single blood sample simultaneously, in just 30 minutes.
John Lamont, R&D Director for Randox Laboratories, explained;
“While patients undergo a CT scan to confirm either the presence or lack of a haemorrhagic stroke, a blood test on the Randox Biochip can be run on our innovative point-of-care analyser, the MultiSTAT, to identify the same for an ischaemic stroke.
“For the almost 90% of stroke patients who are ruled out for haemorrhagic stroke2, the Randox Biochip will then accelerate decision making for clinicians with regards to thrombolytic therapy.
“Any treatment is most effective if started as soon as possible after the stroke occurs, and so every minute that passes without a diagnosis is likely to leave a permanent mark on a stroke patient’s future health and lifestyle. The vitally important diagnostic information from the Randox Stroke Biochip facilitates accurate stroke classification, directs the appropriate patient care pathway, and enables rapid thrombolytic therapy, ensuring a better patient outcome for ischaemic stroke sufferers, for whom time is of the essence.”
Whilst the Randox Stroke Biochip is currently being used as complementary testing in parallel with CT scanning, Mr Lamont is confident of a more prominent role for the test in the future patient pathway;
“The Biochip has the potential to really revolutionise the stroke diagnosis pathway as we currently know it. The accessibility of this type of blood testing could potentially extend its use beyond the A&E department, to ambulances and even the home, in the form of a hand-held testing device.”
For further information about our pioneering new stroke test, or about the Goodwood Festival of Speed Future Lab, please contact Amy McIlwaine in the Randox PR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Royal College of Physicians Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP). Clinical audit Jan – Mar 2016 report prepared by Royal College of Physicians, Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit on behalf of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party.
2 Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party. National clinical guideline for stroke, 5th edition. London: Royal College of Physicians 2016.
You visit the doctor because you think there is a problem. The doctor suspects it may be an infection but she’s not sure. A blood sample is taken and sent to the laboratory where three to five tests are run on it. Your blood does not show a positive reading for any of the tests conducted. You still don’t know what’s wrong. Does this sound familiar?
Enter a pioneering piece of technology called the Biochip. This health testing platform, from global diagnostics company Randox, and on show at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, can currently run 49 different tests simultaneously – making sure you get the right diagnosis as fast as possible.
Current and futuristic developments in this critical strand of medicine, involving detailed analysis of blood to identify both current and future health risks, are appearing as part of the festival’s Future Lab project. Those visiting Future Lab will learn how technology can be utilised to improve the speed and accuracy of health diagnoses across the world.
With further plans to expand and enhance the Biochip even further – with capabilities to run over 1024 tests on a single blood sample – this technology is set to revolutionise the future of healthcare.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;
“For years we’ve been working behind-the-scenes with hospitals and laboratory professionals and, until now, our contribution to improving healthcare would not have been evident to the general public. But we know now that it’s time for us to come out – our technologies have the potential to transform healthcare around the world, and that matters to everyone.
“More sensitive, comprehensive and accurate technologies hold the promise of much earlier and effective diagnosis, often before symptoms appear – greatly improving healthcare outcomes and reducing the burden on healthcare services. And these technologies are directly available to the individual through our consumer division Randox Health, not just through GPs or hospitals.
“It is also a fact that diagnostics have historically been undervalued – in healthcare systems around the world laboratory technologies account for around 2% of overall budgets, yet 70%-80% of all healthcare decisions affecting diagnosis or treatment involve a laboratory investigation.”
Sensing the potential to improve healthcare through diagnostic innovation, Randox has invested significantly in the development of Biochip Array Technology, allowing many tests to be run simultaneously.
Dr FitzGerald continued;
“It’s taken over £285 million to see the fruition of this, the gold standard in testing. Our 300-strong team of research scientists and engineers are committed to exploring the thousands of markers of health and illness within the body and to each year unveil pioneering and innovative new tests to add to the Randox portfolio. Thanks to an annual investment of around 16% of turnover in this research and development, we have more innovations in development than any other healthcare company in the world.”
One such innovation, the concept of which is due to be revealed at the Goodwood Future Lab for the first time, is the unrivalled 32×32 Biochip. This highly anticipated testing platform will remarkably be able to provide patients with 1024 key pieces of information about their current and future health. Combined with advanced algorithms, the effect will be truly revolutionary.
Dr FitzGerald added;
“The 32×32 Biochip is key to unlocking true personalised medicine. Ultimately it acts as a roadmap of your health by predicting the health conditions of which you are personally at risk in the future. By taking preventive action you will be empowered to live healthier for longer. It’s the world’s first technology of its kind, capable of extending your life.”
The Randox Health Mobile Clinic, in which the public can directly access Randox technologies in the form of the world’s most comprehensive health check, will be at the Goodwood Hotel on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th July. Those wishing to book can call 0800 2545 130 or can find out more by visiting the Randox Health website or downloading the app.
For further information please contact Randox PR by email: email@example.com or by phoning 07980 738 120