The Importance of Diagnostics
Randox was established in 1982 to address the need for accurate and readily available diagnostic tests to improve patient diagnosis. Around 70% of all medical decisions are based on laboratory results, and so, not surprisingly, we believe that earlier, more accurate and more accessible diagnostics are the key to improving global health and saving lives.
And yet, until now, in spite of their contribution to clinical decision making, and the important role they play in patient outcomes, diagnostic tests have only accounted for 2% of the UK’s national health budget.
But things are changing. What was once a little-understood industry, working diligently behind-the-scenes, has quickly become an area of interest and relevance to just about everybody, given the key role the sector has played during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Whilst regrettable that it has taken a pandemic to bring the health diagnostics sector into focus, it is a positive step forward for healthcare that the huge national and international scope of our sector is now rightly acknowledged. Click the links below to hear from a range of clinicians, pathologists and public officials on the importance of diagnostics.
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What We Do
Health Secretary Matt Hancock publicly thanks Randox for ‘stepping up to the mark’
On 23 April 2020, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock personally thanked staff at Randox for the work we have done and continue to do, during the daily coronavirus briefing from Downing Street.
“I want to take this moment to applaud the private companies who have been involved…Boots, Amazon, Thermo Fisher, Randox, Rosch, Oxford Nanopore, GSK and Astrazeneca. They have really stepped up to the mark and I am grateful for each and every one.”
It is Randox’s priority to ensure that we contribute to the global effort to fight COVID-19, by testing at scale. We are therefore absolutely committed to the government testing scheme, which is focusing on key workers and the maintenance of critical national infrastructure – including that of the NHS.
In order to meet the requirements of this scheme, we have undertaken considerable reorganisation within the company by redeploying personnel – often to newly formed departments and newly formed teams. Everyone at Randox has a critical role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing and we appreciate all the hard work, patience, and flexibility of our staff.
Our work has greatly expanded the capacity for testing in the UK and we will continue to ramp up our capabilities, to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.
What we are doing is making a real and positive difference.
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To watch the full version of the Daily Coronavirus Briefing from 23rd April, please click here.
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An innovative new tool for quickly diagnosing the often deadly infection Sepsis, will save lives, the Health Secretary has said.
The bedside test, being developed by healthcare diagnostics company Randox, will slash the 24 hours usually taken to identify the correct antibiotic for sepsis treatment. Currently, more than a third of those with sepsis die. Every hour that patients are not diagnosed increases the chance of death by 8%.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Instead of having to give people huge amounts of antibiotics across the board, which causes other problems, both medical and problems with resistance and super bugs, instead we will be able to work out exactly what the right treatment is for that individual person and do it fast enough to get the treatment in to save lives.”
He paid a visit to Randox’s new headquarters, the Randox Science Park, in Antrim, Northern Ireland on Thursday 21st March.
He added: “I can see a very clear application across the health service for how we can use the technology that is being developed here in Northern Ireland, both across the UK and indeed around the world.”
Sepsis can develop from infections caused by a simple cut or minor medical procedure. The body’s white blood cells fight the infection but the reaction can escalate and also damage healthy tissue.
Many who survive face amputations because of this tissue damage, Randox’s Molecular Diagnostics Manager Dr Martin Crockard said.
Dr Crockard highlighted that the traditional sepsis testing method, which involves sending blood samples to laboratories, takes too long. The problem is worsened by the fact that doctors are then forced to initially prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics which are not specific enough for individual patients. This encourages resistant strains.
To speed up the process, the new technology from Randox’s Biosciences division will allow clinicians in hospital emergency departments to check multiple samples simultaneously, at the press of a few buttons on a smart pad.
Dr Crockard said it is imperative that appropriate antibiotic treatment is administered as quickly as possible.
He said: “We can deal with the exact organism causing the problem in less than four hours, allowing you to tailor the treatment for that individual patient very quickly.”
The UK Sepsis Trust’s Chief Executive Ron Daniels said: “Randox is leading the way around molecular technologies.
“No other system brings this so close to the clinician on the shop floor.”
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For over 36 years, Randox has been developing cutting-edge diagnostic technologies to improve the quality, accuracy and timeliness of laboratory results, because we firmly believe that access to accurate and timely diagnostics is key to improving healthcare.
As 70% of clinical decisions are based on laboratory output, our efforts are central to healthcare and improving patient outcomes. It will come as no surprise therefore that we support the announcement made by Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week about a new green paper, entitled “Prevention is better than cure,” that will argue for a shift towards preventative healthcare, to help people stay well.
On Monday Mr Hancock argued that the “numbers don’t stack up” when it comes to spending on prevention as opposed to treatment, with £97bn of public money in the UK spent on treating disease and only £8bn preventing it.
He added that “we need a new 21st century focus on prevention.”
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive Public Health England, echoed Mr Hancock’s sentiments by saying; “We need to move from a system that detects and treats illnesses to one that also predicts and prevents poor health through promoting health in all policies and puts people back in charge of their own health.”
It’s a goal that we at Randox share with both Mr Hancock and Mr Selbie. With new and emerging diagnostic technologies, we can speed up diagnoses, improve patient outcomes, make every pound go further and give clinicians more time with their patients.
Much earlier and much more effective diagnosis can simultaneously improve healthcare outcomes and reduce the burden on healthcare services.
At Randox, we look forward to a time when sickness is actively prevented, rather than managed. By utilising innovative diagnostic products capable of diagnosing disease and ill-health at the earliest possible stage, we can truly transform the life of the patient.
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