COVID’S Lessons Can Kickstart A Health Revolution

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  • One of the things we hoped was to be able to create a foundation for the UK diagnostics sector,” he said, adding that he had once hoped the labs themselves might continue.
  • Every sector of the community – the NHS, industry, academia, everyone.
  • Medical research charities have a massive role.

According to the founding director of the Lighthouse labs network, two years of mass Covid testing have prepared the path for a revolution in how we detect other diseases as reported by The Guardian.

Familiarity with swabs

Prof Chris Molloy, in his first interview since the outbreak, stated that people’s familiarity with using swabs for Covid tests meant they could also identify and monitor their risk of other disorders like diabetes and heart disease.

The government terminated free Covid tests for most individuals on April 1 as part of a “living with Covid” plan, which has seen most of the Covid surveillance and research apparatus abolished, according to ministers.

Seven Lighthouse labs processed the majority of the 207 million free PCR tests performed in the UK during the pandemic, according to national research studies and England’s NHS test and trace system.

Biggest foundation

Molloy led the team setting up the network, which was created after the previous public health laboratory system had faced a series of cuts by successive governments.

“One of the things we hoped was to be able to create a foundation for the UK diagnostics sector,” he said, adding that he had once hoped the labs themselves might continue.

“But it may be that the biggest foundation we’ve actually created is the thousands of high-quality staff who’ve been trained in extraordinarily high-quality science, who are now filtering across the nation.”

“The population has been schooled in ordering a test online, getting it through the post, doing it in the home, popping it back in the post, getting a result on their phone, and most importantly changing their behavior as a result.”

Having lab capacity and smart diagnostics could help tackle chronic ill-health, he said.

One in three adults in the UK have a long-term condition such as kidney disease, heart failure or diabetes, and having two chronic health problems in middle age may double the risk of dementia.

Aging 

“If you really want to address multi-morbidities and diseases associated with aging, you start with people in their 30s, 40s and 50s,” Molloy said. 

Not with older people, when you’re playing clinical whack-a-mole.

“This is not Beveridge 1.0, which was the establishment delivering for the populace.

This is Beveridge 2.0, where the populace can engage in their own health and use smart diagnostics in the home or the high street to start to understand their own health at a time when you actually may be able to do something to steer away from long-term disease, rather than just treat it.”

William Beveridge published the report that was the foundation of the welfare state and NHS in 1942, offering a vision of hope during war, and Molloy urged ministers and others to show a similar vision for healthcare when the pandemic has ended.

Capital equipment

Government, academia, the NHS and the private sector had shared a new “singularity of purpose”, he said. 

“We must make sure those walls don’t get rebuilt.”

Every sector of the community – the NHS, industry, academia, everyone.

The military were helping move 400 pieces of capital equipment around the nation to be able to center them on the sites that we chose.

Medical research charities have a massive role.

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Source: The Guardian

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