East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) has published an evaluation of Dip.io’s urinary tract infection (UTI) digital pathway demonstrator, which shows positive outcomes for women seeking treatment for a UTI.

Dip.io was selected to join the NIA in 2017.

The below was originally published by EMAHSN

In July 2019, East Midlands AHSN collaborated with NHS England and NHS Improvement and Healthy.io (developer of the digital UTI technology used) on a six month Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Digital Pathway Demonstrator.

The trial pathway, which was offered through 38 participating pharmacies in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, enabled women with symptoms of uncomplicated UTIs access to a free Dip UTI test – a clinically proven home-use kit developed by Healthy.io who are part of the national NHS Innovation Accelerator. Dip UTI combines the standard dipstick urine test used by GPs with an app that turns any smartphone camera into a clinical grade medical device. Using the results of the test the pharmacies were able to either rule out a UTI or if the patient’s result was positive the patient was able to receive antibiotics, without a GP appointment. All patients who accessed the service received the appropriate self-care advice and safety netting advice from the pharmacist.

The pilot aimed to test and evaluate whether this pathway would speed up access to treatment and make the process easier for patients.

A full evaluation of this pilot has now been released titled Evaluation of the treatment of adult women under 65 years presenting with symptoms of uncomplicated urinary tract infections in community pharmacy using home-based urinalysis testing.

This evaluation contains three elements:

  • a clinical evaluation
  • a patient and pharmacist satisfaction evaluation
  • an economic impact evaluation.

During the pilot, 1,047 patients accessed the UTI service across 38 pharmacies in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire on 1,060 occasions.

The findings detailed in the report are positive about the pilot pathway, for example, the Dip UTI service appears to have enabled 60% or more of patients to avoid the need to seek additional advice. Suggesting that the new pathway may improve access to care for UTI by avoiding long waits for GP appointments and increasing the availability of diagnosis and treatment out of hours and at weekends.

Patient and pharmacist feedback about the service was also positive, a survey of 148 of the patients showed that 89% were very satisfied with the service and that they felt a community pharmacy is an appropriate place to have a pharmacist-led consultation service.  Of the 35 community pharmacies who completed the survey, 94% would recommend taking part to pharmacy colleagues.

There is also an indication that there is a small saving for what the patients and pharmacists who took part believe is an improved service.

Developer of Dip UTI, Healthy.io, are currently working in other areas of the region introducing similar pathways with support of the East Midlands AHSN.

pdfAccess the Dip UTI evaluation report.