Another interesting innovation presented at MEDICA was the GastroPanel quick test. This diagnostic blood test provides valuable information on stomach conditions almost immediately, and can predict risks for stomach cancer.
“The GastroPanel quick test is a unique combination of four biomarkers. You can get a lot of information about the condition of the stomach which otherwise would be very difficult to obtain,” explained Ilari Patrakka in an interview with MedicalExpo e-magazine. Patrakka is marketing and sales director at BIOHIT Healthcare, the Finnish manufacturer.
The test helps diagnose Helicobacter pylori infection. More importantly, it identifies people with atrophic gastritis, a risk factor for stomach cancer. “It’s a real screening test for the risk of stomach cancer,” said Patrakka. Several long-term studies consistently show that these risk factors are highly reliable predictors of gastric cancer, even 15 years before onset.
The test also estimates the risk of developing vitamin B12 and micronutrient deficiency. A normal test result indicates that your stomach is basically healthy, suggesting that the gastric symptoms might be functional or related to other causes.
Over 90% Accuracy
“The test has shown to be very accurate—over 90%,” continued Patrakka.
In addition, the test is very easy to use. It can be performed during a single clinical visit using a drop of blood from the finger. Results are available in just 15 minutes. Patrakka said that this saves costs and unnecessary clinical appointments, as well as speeding referrals for further examination and treatment.
“It can be used by general practitioners in the doctor’s office. It really is a point-of-care tool,” he added. It also could be used in the field in developing countries, where Helicobacter pylori infection seems to be more prevalent. According to the Mayo Clinic, these bacteria may be passed from person to person through direct contact with saliva, vomit or fecal matter. They also may be spread through contaminated food or water. Risk factors for H. pylori infection are related to living conditions during childhood—a crowded home, lack of a reliable supply of clean water, living in a developing country or living with someone with an H. pylori infection.
“GastroPanel quick test will be available in Europe as soon as the CE IVD certification process is completed,” said Pattraka.