Pregnant woman

Patients to benefit as world-first at-home diabetes test for pregnant women pilot reaches next phase

Pregnant women in the south of England are set to benefit more from a ground-breaking new at-home diabetes test as the world-first pilot progresses into its second phase.

Working the same way as a traditional oral glucose tolerance test but with the added benefit of it being usable at home, the innovation is allowing clinicians at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) to use their time more efficiently whilst also making healthcare more convenient for patients.

Pregnant women deemed to be at a higher risk of gestational diabetes will be provided with the test, which pairs with a smartphone to enable midwifery teams to view results from the test immediately after they are uploaded.

Gestational diabetes affects approximately one in 20 pregnant women in the UK, with things like body mass index and ethnicity being influencing factors. If undetected or left untreated, the condition can lead to complications such as premature birth, preeclampsia and increased growth of the baby.

Consultant Obstetric Physician at UHS, Dr Matthew Coleman, hopes the “revolutionary” new test will “dramatically change” healthcare at the hospital.

“Not only is it better for the patients to self-test in the convenience of their own home, cutting down the number of antenatal appointments they attend, but it will also free up precious NHS time and resources,” said Dr Coleman.

“In addition, patients are able to test at the earliest opportunity, meaning fewer delays and, if gestational diabetes is detected, they can be treated and managed quickly helping to keep them and their babies safe.

“We also hope that testing at home proves to be appealing to the complete background of social and demographic populations that we work with and we look forward to receiving feedback from those involved in the next phase of research.”

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