Feasibility study for introducing a new rapid point-of-care HIV test into sexual health clinics

Feasibility study for introducing a new rapid point-of-care HIV test into sexual health clinics

Owen Mumford is a global leader in medical device design and manufacturing who worked with the Oxford AHSN to explore the advantages of introducing a new rapid point of care HIV test, which has a simple sample collection system and provides a prompt result to help support the early diagnosis of HIV.

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By Owen Mumford


HIV is an immunodeficiency virus that damages the cells in the immune system and weakens the body’s ability to fight off everyday infections and disease. The disease is usually transmitted through unprotected sex and the sharing of needles. Earlier diagnosis and treatment substantially reduces the disease burden on the patient and NHS. 

The Oxford AHSN team conducted a new methodology, the Lean Assessment Process (LAP), which was developed in conjunction with Imperial College, London.  

The purpose of the project was to enable the company to gauge the clinical utility and acceptability of the new test against current clinical practice and potential value to sexual health clinics in the NHS in England, and explore utility in other potential clinical settings.  

How did the Innovation Exchange help?

Oxford AHSN performed an initial literature review to identify the care pathway for rapid HIV testing in sexual health clinics in the NHS in England. In testing the potential scenario, a visual representation of the current Standard of Care (SoC) pathway was developed with the help of available literature and discussions with Owen Mumford. The visual representation of the pathway was used to guide the qualitative methodologies including face-to-face interviews based around semi-structured questionnaires. The interviews enabled us to explore the potential use and benefit of the new test in the clinical settings.  

Impact & Outcomes

The partnership between Oxford AHSN and Owen Mumford helped the company to develop their offering of the HIV test in a clinical setting.  

The feasibility feedback given as part of the semi-structured interviews undertaken has enabled Owen Mumford to develop their offering to draw it more in line with clinical needs and has given them a good understanding of what clinicians need from the test. This feedback is crucial for the HIV test to be adapted and adopted for NHS use. 

As part of the literature review, the Oxford AHSN identified clinicians that will need to be engaged in the clinical utility and acceptability of the test, helping to ensure that it meets their needs.