As chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, even a mild illness can be fatal for chemotherapy patients. The suppression of a white blood cell known as the neutrophil, can lead to neutropenic sepsis, a life-threatening medical emergency. Therefore, chemotherapy patients with even mild signs of infection at home are brought into hospital for blood tests to check their neutrophil levels and, while awaiting results, given intravenous antibiotics as a precaution. Six in 10 patients turn out to have normal neutrophil counts, and therefore did not necessarily need to attend hospital, costing the NHS approximately £40 million each year.
NeutroCheck was launched to develop a transformative new medical device, NeutroCheck, presenting tangible efficiencies in patient care and healthcare resource, both financial and human. The device will be used in the patient’s home to give a near-instant measure of the patient’s neutrophil levels using blood from a small pin-prick. The NeutroCheck device is designed to be portable and easy-to-use in a home environment.
Our focus is to produce a fast, reliable and low-cost device which would improve safety and quality of life for cancer patients worldwide, whilst saving healthcare institutions such as the NHS millions of pounds each year from substantially reducing hospital visits.