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Technology-enhanced HIV testing service triumphs

Dean Street at Home initiative wins PMEA's digital/social award
The Havas Health Award for Excellence via Digital/Social Media

A postal HIV testing service that combines social media and mobile technology to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs was rewarded at last week's PMEA.

The Dean Street at Home service, by 56 Dean Street with support from 90TEN Healthcare, took home the Havas Health Award for Excellence via Digital/Social Media.

The Pharmaceutical Market Excellence Awards (PMEA) programme judges described the initiative as combining a “little bit of everything” to provide “a complete solution”.“It had very clear and well structured objectives with strong KPIs and health outcomes. It was simple, highly effective and low cost,” they said.

The PMEA programme, run by PMLiVE's publisher the PMGroup, is specifically designed to recognise and commend excellence, best practice and innovation in local, European and international healthcare markets.

Set up by Soho sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street, part of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Dean Street at Home offers gay men an online risk assessment questionnaire and free HIV mouth swab testing kit.

Patients take the test at home and return the kit in the post, with negative results delivered via text message and the offer of further testing, support and management at a face-to-face clinic for anyone who tests positive.

HIV is one of the fastest growing long-term health conditions in the UK, with 25 per cent of those affected still undiagnosed, with fear of venepuncture, unwanted counselling and inconvenience of attending clinical services key barriers to testing.

Moreover, the message about safe sex and the need for regular testing is often ignored.

Dean Street at Home was designed to overcome these barriers and reach gay men using social media and smartphone apps, tapping into the social network Gaydar and online medical service DrThom.

The PMEA judges commented: “Through effective use of existing media among a close knit community it got great results and should be commended for its focus on making savings on the cost of NHS diagnosis.”

Within 12 months, the service was responsible for around 3 per cent of all new HIV diagnoses in gay men in London and reduced the cost per diagnosis by 32 per cent - making it highly cost-effective compared to similar pilots.

Last week's PMEA ceremony in London, also saw 56 Dean Street - with support from 90TEN Healthcare – pick up the Excellence in Health Improvement and Education award for Dean Street at Home.

Commenting on 56 Dean Street's second win of the night, the PMEA judges said: “Overall this was an incredibly impressive initiative. It was extremely innovative and effective, combining advanced technology, social media and low cost diagnosis to change the behaviour of the target customer group with great results.”

Article by
Dominic Tyer

2nd December 2013

From: Marketing

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