EQUIPMENT

Innovation in Urine Collection Cuts Contamination, Retesting

Forte Medical (United Kingdom) characterizes traditional urine collection as a "start-stop-start-and-aim" endeavor that often devolves into a "hitand- miss process." To improve the quality and "dignity" of urine sample collection, the company has developed its Peezy Midstream device.

The company’s cofounder found that contaminated urine samples resulted in high rates of repeat appointments and retests for patients presenting with suspected urinary tract infections (UTIs). Accurate diagnosis of UTIs, plus other conditions like prenatal and diabetes screenings, relies on midstream collection, but samples are frequently contaminated with first-void urine.

With further investigation, Forte Medical determined contaminated urine samples are a costly problem throughout the U.K. health system. National contamination rates in the United Kingdom were estimated to be above 15 percent with each retest costing more than $13 U.S.

Enter Peezy, a simple-to-use funnel engineered to capture midstream urine in a single, mess-free process. Peezy rejects first 8mL to 10mL of potentially contaminated urine. Urine causes expansion of compressed sponge, which blocks exit, causing midstream urine to be diverted into collection tube (30mL or 10mL). When this tube is full, excess urine exits through second, separate duct eliminating the possibility of funnel overflow. In addition to eliminating collection messes, spills, or contamination, the specimen can be transferred directly onto the analyzer. This improves laboratory efficiency by removing the decanting process from the workflow, saving labor and time.

Data shows that Peezy markedly improves the quality of samples. In two U.K. trials Peezy reduced mixed growth from 23 percent to 5 percent, while a second trial conducted as part of London’s Barts Health NHS Trust quality audit showed improvements in mixed growth contamination from 17 percent to 1.5 percent with Peezy-assisted collection, "representing a huge improvement in the speed and quality of diagnosis and targeted treatment, while reducing incidences of repeat specimens," says Giovanna Forte, CEO of Forte Medical. (The College of American Pathologists estimates that, similarly, approximately 20 percent of U.S. urine specimens may be unreliable.)

Peezy collection funnels are more expensive than standard collection vessels, (approximately $1.15 U.S. versus $0.12 U.S.), but Forte says use of Peezy ultimately saves money (potentially millions of dollars) when taking into account the cost of laboratory analysis for retesting.

Peezy is currently approved in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Forte Medical has its U.S. expansion planned for 2018, including opening an office within the Dell Medical Innovation Center (Austin, Texas).

Takeaway: A simple collection device markedly improves the quality of urine samples, saving laboratories time, the health system money, and patients inconvenience, all while improving timely diagnosis.

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