East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust adopts ZedScan

Wednesday 1st July 2020

Press Release

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust adopts cervical cancer diagnostic tool, ZedScan™as matter of urgency’ in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Zilico are proud to be supporting NHS efforts in the fight against coronavirus as East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust becomes the latest to adopt ZedScan™ to further improve the detection of cervical cancer and pre-cancer.

The business proposal for Burnley General Teaching Hospital to implement the technology has been prioritised by the Trust in order to manage anticipated capacity pressures and support the management of patients referred to their colposcopy clinics following an abnormal cervical screening (smear) test result.

Zilico VP of Sales, Darren Neill is pleased to share this announcement, “East Lancashire Hospitals joins the growing number of NHS Trusts adopting ZedScan for their services across the UK. The timing of this decision is particularly significant as hospitals are facing a backlog of screened patients waiting to be seen in colposcopy due to the national focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.”

He adds, “We are seeing a growing need for adjunctive technology within colposcopy as we move into a new primary HPV screening era, where clinicians are seeing less visual disease on the cervix, thus making their decision-making process much more challenging. ZedScan is unique in using bio-electrics to provide information on tissue impedance (the rate at which tissue reacts to electrical signals) which complements a clinician’s own visual assessment, helping them make the best diagnostic decision for each patient at first visit.”

Cancer screening delays due to COVID-19 efforts have had a big impact nationally, with around 2.1 million people currently waiting for breast, bowel or cervical screening. During this time, 3,800 cancers would normally have been diagnosed through screening (collectively) in the UK. The Trust is currently preparing for restoration of services during Phase 2 of the COVID pandemic and options to manage colposcopy patient backlog due to the pause in screening referrals and follow ups during Phase 1. This is in addition to a high number of symptomatic women being referred through “Choose and Book” services by GP’s.

Following a service evaluation of the device at East Lancashire Colposcopy services, results showed that ZedScan increased the detection of high-grade cervical disease (which has the potential to become cancerous) and helped inform clinical management decisions. The high sensitivity of the ZedScan device also gives clinicians the confidence to discharge women to routine surveillance or screening when no disease is present, providing reassurance for patients.

Using patented Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) platform technology, ZedScan is used (as an adjunct to coloscopy) to detect cervical abnormalities before they develop into cervical cancer. This non-visual, bio-electric technique is used alongside the clinician’s visualisation of the cervix and is proven to detect more high-grade disease, particularly in women with low grade referrals, which are the most challenging visually.

Burnley General Teaching Hospital sees around 1700 new patient referrals to colposcopy each year with numbers expected to increase with the introduction of primary HPV screening in 2020.

The clinical team at the hospital are enthusiastic about bringing ZedScan to their service, Lead clinician for the unit, Consultant Gynaecologist Uma Krishnamoorthy tells us why,

“Our Colposcopy service was already anticipating up to 40% increase in demand of new referrals due to the recent rollout of national hrHPV primary screening. This was expected to make an impact on the service around June 2020. The service will now also now be impacted due to COVID, and the introduction of ZedScan will help us manage this safely and consistently while upholding quality and enhancing patient experience through reduction in follow ups and biopsy rates.”

The additional diagnostic information provided by ZedScan will support the clinicians’ decision at the patient’s first visit, giving them the confidence to offer treatment or release to routine screening or surveillance.

Ms Krishnamoorthy concludes, “This will be of particular importance in managing the backlog of low-grade and symptomatic referrals from the current pause in the screening programme. Efficiency gains besides Quality and Financial gains will benefit the whole health economy and local population.”


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Louise Flintoft
Onyx Health Ltd.

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