Pregnant women trial at-home screening

Expectant mothers under the care of University Hospital Southampton (UHS) NHS Foundation Trust maternity services are set to be the first in the world to access remote-testing technology that enables screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) at home rather than in a clinic.

GDM impacts up to 20% of UK pregnancies and, left undiagnosed or untreated, can contribute to perinatal complications such as foetal macrosomia, which according to the NHS increases the risks of needing labour induction or Caesarean delivery, as well as other complications. Prompt identification of GDM is therefore key, but oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) for GDM are currently offered only in clinic and can take the best part of a morning to complete. This inconvenience frequently constrains test throughput, which can lead to delayed testing.

The diabetes home-testing solution, GTT@home, developed by Digostics, is currently the only regulatory-approved home-use OGTT. It combines new testing technologies and communication wireless functionality that enables test data to be sent immediately to the care team via a smartphone. The kit, which is mailed to the expecting mother so she can test on a day of her choosing, contains a novel test device, a glucose drink, and finger prickers. To deliver the results, the woman can either scan a snap-off fob attached to the test device with a smartphone using a mobile app or mail back the fob in a supplied prepaid envelope for processing.

Announcing the pilot trial of the new programme, UHS said: “In taking the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to the patient, UHS aim to improve diabetes screening and healthcare equity of access by identifying the presence of GDM earlier in the pregnancy and eliminating barriers commonly associated with in-clinic testing.”

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