Although longer life expectancy has increased steadily since the 70s, it has resulted in the global predominance of non-communicable diseases as both the leading cause of death, and of disease burden. Cardiovascular disease causes approximately one third of all deaths in the UK and is responsible for a fifth of all hospital admissions. Diabetes affects up to three million people in the UK and there are a further million people unaware they are living with the condition. According to the British Liver Trust, liver disease is now the fifth largest cause of death and affects the health and wellbeing of many thousands more. Leading health authorities, such as the World Health Organisation, all identify the interaction of various genetic, environmental and especially lifestyle factors – such as smoking, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity – as major risk factors.
However, the majority of these conditions can be avoided if detected early enough and managed with lifestyle adjustments or medical intervention. While the concept of prevention in healthcare is not new, there are a number of technologies set to produce a new world of personalised preventative medicine.
Leading the way is Randox Health Checks, a provider of the most comprehensive blood diagnostic screening service available on the worldwide market with up to 250 individual tests. These screenings use biochip protein array technology to detect biomarkers of a range of diseases and conditions long before symptoms occur. This cutting-edge technology was developed by parent company, Randox Laboratories, which brings 30 years of scientific heritage and innovation in high-quality diagnostic solutions.
Biochip array technology is an immunoassay testing platform that allows the simultaneous multi-analyte testing of a panel of related tests. This means that multiple tests can be carried out quickly and effectively on a single blood sample. Each biochip contains an array of discrete test regions which contain immobilised capture antibodies specific to different analytes. It combines a panel of related tests on a single biochip with a single set of reagents, controls and calibrators.
In recognition of the growing demand for personalised preventative medicine by businesses and consumers, Randox Health Checks was launched in 2010, with its first clinic in Northern Ireland and a second clinic, as of last month, in London. Customers select their own screening package, their samples are analysed and the results presented in an in-depth report. Patients then have the option to discuss their results with a clinical scientist. Armed with detailed information about their current and future health, patients are then empowered to make the decision to seek necessary medical intervention or make positive lifestyle changes.
An overview of Randox Health Checks: