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 Measuring our impact: A portable diagnostic tool

The tool is helping the UCLH-based Find and Treat team to diagnose and treat liver conditions for vulnerable and hard to reach people.

Find and Treat is a specialist outreach team that helps to diagnose and treat conditions among homeless people, drug or alcohol users, vulnerable migrants and people who have been in prison. This population experiences extreme rates of morbidity and mortality and multiple barriers to accessing healthcare, resulting in high rates of undiagnosed conditions such as hepatitis C (HCV) and liver disease. We funded diagnostic equipment including pointof-care tests (for diagnosing HCV) and a portable Fibroscan (for diagnosing liver fibrosis and identifying those with scarring of the liver – cirrhosis).

Results

From September 2016 to August 2018 the  team have scanned 320  individuals - more than half of them homeless and hard to reach. One  third of those scanned were found to have liver disease and 15% to have cirrhosis - all might have been missed without  screening. Chronically infected HCV individuals and those with severe fibrosis or cirrhosis referred to, and supported into, specialist care.