The world of high-tech medicine and diagnostics is advancing at a rapid rate. With the advent of the global Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen an increased appetite for testing and testing that’s quick. TestCard’s story is about a simple postcard with a set of test strips that partners with a free app to play a leading role in the healthcare revolution.
Diagnosis from home at a time that suits you
The TestCard postcards we’re talking about here aren’t just any old postcards. By developing TestCard, we’re creating an easy to use urine-testing kit to diagnose a range of medical conditions. Our first product is due to roll out across the UK, Sweden and Norway at the end of June 2020. It’s a technically advanced UTI test, that acts like a dipstick testing and harnesses the inbuilt power of a smartphone. Our business aims to make testing more accurate and accessible globally. The kit’s ability to accurately and inexpensively diagnose at home, rather than in a hospital or doctor’s surgery with a healthcare professional present, provides them with this phenomenal potential.
UTI Test: Reducing the pressure on the medical system
When the NHS launched in 1948, there were 2.5 billion people in the world. Now there are 8 billion. Yet the model for healthcare delivery remains pretty much the same. A patient still has to go to their GP or emergency department and ask for help. That model’s not scalable. You can’t keep adding bodies and expecting it to work smoothly.
TestCard strongly support the need for face-to-face appointments for some patients but they’re not necessarily needed for all patients all the time. For example, our initial product can quickly and discreetly diagnose a UTI. There are many people who are prone to these infections who will already know the symptoms. By testing themselves at home, they can speed up their route to treatment and remove unnecessary appointments with their doctor.
In the UK alone, UTIs account for 10.2 million appointments each year. It’s estimated that these appointments cost between £30 and £40. By developing TestCard, we aim to provide a solution that reduces the need for an appointment dramatically, by allowing patients to test themselves at home, and share the results with their health professional.
UTI Test: How it began
The idea for TestCard came when the co-founder, Andrew Botham, and I were having dinner together back in 2017. We met through our daughters who were at school together. During a family meal one evening, we started to talk about their passions for technology and healthcare. Andrew worked for the NHS as Blood Sciences Manager, and I’d developed a number of technology start-ups. At the time, we were both approaching 40 and we got chatting about the dreaded PSA test for prostate cancer and the nervousness it causes for men at this age. We both knew that taking the prostate cancer test could be very daunting, with many men avoiding the test – and doctors more generally. From this chat, we decided that there must be a simpler way.
We knew we could make testing more accessible, more accurate and more discreet. By bringing together Andrew’s medical and scientific knowledge with my expertise in technology, we came up with the idea to develop TestCard.
An easy to use, discreet and accurate test
Three years later, the result is a simple, portable product that can be sent out in the post. It’s made up of two duplicate urine tests that work with a free to download smartphone app. The test and app work hand-in-hand. We knew we had to develop a test where the user experience was straightforward. We wanted the end user to be confident in both the results and their ability to use the kit. The customer scans their product’s unique QR code and follows the simple steps on their phone.
We’ve worked tirelessly to launch the product. It’s our aim to make testing more accurate and more accessible across the world. We’ll be introducing new products later this year, so subscribe to our blogs to find out more.