iPLATO Initiative Aims to Increase FIT Test Uptake In South East London

Medical Devices

To increase participation levels in bowel cancer screening initiatives across South East London, the Medical Technology company iPlato has been given a £1.7 million SBRI (Small Business Research Institute) Healthcare grant.

Currently, Faecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT) are sent out to those between 60 and 74 on the NHS if they are enrolled with a GP in England, although in time this will drop to everyone over the age of 50. These track tiny quantities of blood that might indicate potentially serious problems including bowel cancer and polyps.

“iPlato has been given a £1.7 million SBRI (Small Business Research Institute) Healthcare grant“

The objective for the whole of England is to see a 75% uptake, which means samples have been collected and sent back. South East London sits far below this, at just 56% before the Covid outbreak.

This geography hosts demographics that historically have lower return rates, including those with learning disabilities, mental health problems, where English is not their native language, and non-white groups.

The purpose of the iPLATO initiative is to address this problem by educating these groups using mobile messaging.

Chief Executive Officer of iPLATO, Tobias Alpsten, explained that “digital technologies hold great promise for making cancer screening and care accessible to everyone, and to reduce health inequities they must be developed in collaboration with the people they serve.”

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