Rural GPs likely to favour new e-commerce site

Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling after launching the company's Cxbladder e-commerce...
Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling after launching the company's Cxbladder e-commerce site. Photo supplied.
General practitioners in small New Zealand towns and rural areas are likely to be keen users of the new Pacific Edge e-commerce site, chief executive David Darling says.

The e-commerce site was launched yesterday, meaning all New Zealand residents and healthcare professionals could access the Cxbladder cancer detection technology developed by the Dunedin-based company.

Dr Darling said there had been much talk about empowering rural New Zealand through technology and the new Cxbladder e-commerce site fitted ''nicely'' into the model.

''This will help emancipate those professionals who have few technology tools to use.''

GPs in small towns often had barriers in treating some patients.

However, they could now order the Cxbladder product online, issue it to their patients and send it in for testing.

The goal was to make the tests easily available, he said.

New Zealanders would pay a rebated cost of $368 for a test, much lower than the cost of a test in the United States.

Asked about the turnaround time for the tests, Dr Darling said the company's brand promised a five-day turnaround and he stood by the claim, even allowing for the possible two-day delivery of the test kits.

''This all leads into an effective feed of information to patients.

"The information is passed between the GP and the urologist without having the patient coming in personally, in some cases.

"For the patient, the information is more accessible.''

A cancer diagnosis was a stressful time but with the Cxbladder test kits, blood in the urine could be tested, allowing people to quickly receive information, he said.

To be able to collect a urine sample from the privacy of their own home was a big step forward in the ability for people wishing to take a more active role in providing their healthcare professional with more information on their wellbeing.

Reaction from urologists to the new service had been positive so far, Dr Darling said.

There had been concern from some urologists who had misread an earlier statement and thought the results were being sent directly to the patient, rather than the GP.

The results could only be obtained from medical professionals, he said.

It was estimated there were close to 10,000 New Zealanders per year who had haematuria leading to about 600 New Zealanders a year with bladder cancer, responsible for about 170 deaths a year.

Pacific Edge Diagnostics commercial director Brent Pownall said many patients with haematuria went through the discomfort of a full medical work-up, often using invasive tests, to determine if bladder cancer was present.

''Those who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer and need ongoing monitoring of their condition know only too well the benefits of using Cxbladder's testing system,'' he said.

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