10 Jul 2014

Bladder test 'easy as buying ice cream'

7:07 am on 10 July 2014

New Zealand bladder cancer patients and others needing urine testing services will soon be able to access an easy-to-use, e-commerce website offering a fast, non-invasive test.

David Darling, chief executive of diagnostic developer and service provider Pacific Edge, said the Cxbladder technology was available only as a do-it-yourself service in New Zealand. In other markets, it was licenced for use by physicians and clinicians only.

He said the self-service option gave patients a great deal of convenience, and the company hoped it would be able to offer the service in other countries where Cxbladder was offered.

"We have a patient in New Zealand, a 52-year-old gentleman who had three bladder tumours that were removed.

"He knew of the technology and wanted to use the technology and he was absolutely astounded that this was going to be so easy as just phoning up and getting a test sample system, and he could do it whenever he wanted to do it, as opposed to having to wait in a referral queue and/or turn up every three to six months and see his urologist."

Mr Darling said it was "as easy as buying an ice cream from a corner dairy".

The next step was to take the product to the American market.

"It's particularly important in the US market because the patients are a lot more aware and they're much more mobile. It's because they carry their insurance policy in their pocket, and they have expectation about how they see treatments being provided and their programme managed.

"So when they request something or they have an understanding of an availability of technology, they ask for it. If a particular provider doesn't give it to them, then they move on to the next provider."

Americans often sought a second or even third opinion, whereas New Zealanders were often grateful to get a first opinion, Mr Darling said.