An innovative smartphone app to help detect urinary tract infections is now being launched nationally as part of a fast track test and treat service for urinary tract infections (UTIs). The app and the service allow women to test for a UTI and access prescription-only medicine when appropriate without seeing a GP.
The Dip UTI test kit combines the traditional dipstick test used by GPs, a no-mess pop-up cup to collect a urine sample, a proprietary colour-board which ensures a highly accurate reading and the intelligent smartphone app — which is the first technology to transform a smartphone camera into a clinical device equivalent to lab-based analysers.
If a woman suspects she has a UTI, she simply visits the pharmacy in a participating Boots store (the test kit is also available at Boots.com), where a pharmacy advisor will ask a few questions to make sure a home-based test is appropriate. If it is, she will then be recommended one of the easy-to-use Dip UTI test kits.
She then downloads the free app, and a virtual nurse called Emily will talk her through the test — giving precise instructions on how to collect the urine sample, how long to dip the reagent strip, when to place it in the special colour-board provided, and when to use her smartphone to scan the reagent strip and see the result.
Users cannot move to the next information screen without confirming they have understood and carried out Emily’s instructions at each stage. In independent trials, the app and Dip test successfully passed 99.5 per cent of usability tests conducted with people of all relevant ages. Women can now buy the home-use Dip UTI test kit for £10 in any of the participating Boots pharmacy stores across the UK.
After she completes the test, she visits any participating Boots pharmacy where a specially trained pharmacist will assess her condition based on the test results and symptoms. If the test and symptoms indicate she has a bacterial infection, the pharmacist can supply a three-day course of prescription-only medicine, under a patient group direction (PGD), without the need to see a GP. Pharmacist consultation and prescription-only medicine will cost £15, there is no charge for the pharmacist consultation if the medicine is not suitable/not supplied.
UTI is one of the most common bacterial infections seen by family doctors. There are many appointments made by women with symptoms of cystitis costing the NHS millions of pounds a year in GP time alone. There are also hidden costs around the delays and difficulties of getting an appointment, and antimicrobial resistance due to the over-use of antibiotics.
Cystitis is the general term for any form of bladder inflammation, and while a bacterial infection is the most common cause of inflammation, cystitis can also be triggered by irritants including spermicides, vaginal deodorants, perfumed soaps and bubble-baths, or it can arise as a complication of other conditions such as diabetes or kidney stones. In some cases, the cause remains a mystery.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
UTI symptoms include:
The Dip UTI test kit indicates whether cystitis symptoms are being caused by a bacterial infection. This is will help ensure appropriate advice and treatment can be provided, helping to avoid unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics which drive antimicrobial resistance.
Healthy.io is the category creator of smartphone urinalysis, offering the only FDA cleared and CE approved home urine test equivalent to lab-based devices. Its pioneering technology is shifting clinical grade urinalysis from the lab to the home. Same test, any location, no quality compromise.
In the UK the Healthy.io has been adopted by the NHS Innovation Accelerator Scheme which fast-tracks evidence-based technologies that have the potential to deliver improvements in patient care.