• The technology described in this briefing is the QuikRead go C-reactive protein (CRP) point-of-care test. It is used to quantify CRP in blood, serum or plasma using the QuikRead go instrument.

  • The innovative aspects are that QuikRead go CRP has the potential to provide rapid results by point-of-care testing of a 20 microlitre blood sample, with a reading time of 2 minutes.

  • The intended place in therapy would be in primary care, where it would be used by GPs or nurse practitioners to help guide appropriate prescribing of antibiotics for people with lower respiratory tract infection.

  • The key points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 2 randomised controlled trials, a retrospective diagnostic case-control study and a prognostic study (n=4,874). These studies reported reduced antibiotic prescribing rates compared with standard care, and that the technology performed with a similar accuracy as a standard laboratory CRP test in detecting pneumonia. The diagnostic case-control study reported sensitivity as 52% and 20% for low (20 mg/litre) and high (100 mg/litre) thresholds respectively for the detection of radiographic pneumonia, and specificity as 72% and 99%.

  • Key uncertainties around the evidence are the use of the predecessor version of the technology in the randomised controlled trials. However, the core technology is the same for the predecessor version of QuikRead go and the clinical outcomes reported are likely to be applicable to both systems.

  • The QuikRead go instrument costs £1,050 and the QuikRead go CRP test kits cost £215 for 50 single-use tests (excluding VAT). These would represent an additional acquisition cost to standard care, along with costs associated with maintenance and quality assurance. Using this technology could contribute to fulfilling antibiotic stewardship programmes.

  • NICE has also published a medtech innovation briefing on the Alere Afinion CRP for CRP testing in primary care.