Health economics study estimates significant savings for England’s NHS

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LiverMultiScan uses a noninvasive, AI-enhanced multiparametric MRI scan to accurately assess signs of liver disease. (Credit: v2osk on Unsplash)

A health economic study performed by NHS England’s Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) showed that Perspectum’s LiverMultiScan — an artificial intelligence-enhanced, noninvasive liver health diagnostic tool — is a cost-effective alternative to painful, invasive liver biopsies for monitoring disease activity and treatment response in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH).

Patients with AIH, a chronic condition, require lifelong treatment with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. Their clinical management is challenging, with most patients experiencing recurring periods of subdued, followed by flared disease activity — requiring close and continual monitoring using a liver biopsy to adjust drug dose. The expensive, invasive, and imperfect nature of liver biopsy, together with its poor patient acceptance and associated safety risks, especially in children, are driving the urgent need to replace it with cost-effective noninvasive techniques that can accurately monitor disease activity and treatment response in patients with AIH.

This novel study published in the journal, BMJ Open, estimated significant cost savings of up to £336,926 for 100 patients over five years when surveillance liver biopsies were replaced by LiverMultiScan in NHS England’s AIH patient care pathways. Over and above reducing healthcare costs, previously published evidence suggests that including LiverMultiScan in the clinical care of patients with AIH could improve clinical decision-making, patient safety, and experience.

“Noninvasive imaging with LiverMultiScan can detect the presence and extent of liver fibro-inflammation in a risk-free manner, resulting in reduced liver biopsy frequency for AIH patients,” noted Mamta Bajre, MBBS, M.Sc. Health Economics, lead author of the study and member of the NHS England’s Oxford AHSN. “Our study demonstrates that integrating LiverMultiScan in AIH patient pathways leads to significant cost savings for the NHS, while reducing hospitalisation and management costs associated with liver biopsy. By eliminating risks and complications associated with liver biopsy, LiverMultiScan helps improve patient outcomes and experience.”

Experienced hepatologists and AIH experts from St Mary’s Hospital—Imperial College NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and King’s College Hospital co-developed this economic modelling study, which was funded by the prestigious Innovate U.K. grant (104915) aimed at supporting early economic evaluation of innovative medical technologies.

“Although necessary for diagnosis, liver biopsy is not sustainable for long-term monitoring of patients with AIH. Factoring in LiverMultiScan’s economic benefits shown in this independent study with its ability to positively impact clinical management by detecting sub-clinical disease and predicting clinical outcomes, along with feedback from all stakeholders involved in patient care, I can say LiverMultiScan is probably one of the best monitoring tools to support the management of patients with AIH,” said Elizabeth Shumbayawonda, Ph.D., a clinical scientist spearheading the research in AIH and other autoimmune liver diseases at Perspectum.

Source: Company Press Release