NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on i STAT CG4+ and CHEM8+ cartridges for point-of-care testing in the emergency department.

The i STAT is a handheld analyser used with a range of single-use cartridges for testing blood at the point of care, such as in the emergency department. This briefing focuses on 2 of these cartridges. The CG4+ cartridge detects lactate and several blood gases, whereas the CHEM8+ cartridge detects a number of blood electrolytes, haematocrit, haemoglobin and total CO2. Five studies used the CG4+ cartridge; of these only 1 assessed diagnostic test accuracy. Two studies used the CHEM8+ cartridge to assess renal function; 1 of the 2 studies also used the CG4+ cartridge to analyse blood gases. In the latter 2 studies, there was a statistically significant reduction in the median time for patients to be declared ready to leave the emergency department after the tests had been introduced as one component of a redesigned emergency department service. The i STAT analyser costs £5191. CG4+ cartridges cost £12.49 per test and CHEM8+ cartridges cost £19.54 per test (excluding VAT).  

Medtech innovation briefings provide a description of the medical technology, including its likely place in therapy, the costs of using the technology and a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant published evidence.

Their purpose is to provide objective information on device and diagnostic technologies to aid local decision-making by clinicians, managers and procurement professionals. By making this information available, NICE helps to avoid the need for NHS organisations to produce similar information for local use.

Medtech innovation briefings are not NICE guidance. They differ in format, contain no judgement on the value of the technology and do not constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England and produced in support of the NHS 5 Year Forward View, specifically as one of a number of steps which will accelerate innovation in new treatments and diagnostics.