More than one billion people globally live with digestive diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
OMED Health has pioneered breath analysis technology that can help monitor a person’s gut health and their microbiome. With the help of gastrointestinal experts, this information can be used to develop a personalised health plan that can improve quality of life for people living with digestive health issues.
Scientists behind the solution are leaders in breath research and run the world’s biggest breath analysis lab.
Cambridge, UK, 4th April 2022: Cambridge scientists have launched a new brand to help the billion people globally living with digestive health issues live a better quality of life. OMED Health will use pioneering breath analysis technology to help people understand their gut health and tackle issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), faster.
OMED Health is a division of Owlstone Medical – the global leader in Breath Biopsy for early disease detection and precision medicine and home to the world’s biggest breath analysis lab.
The gut can be impacted by a wide range of illnesses, including IBS, carbohydrate malabsorption, and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) – but diagnoses of these issues are typically slow, taking 6.5 years on average, leaving those living with these conditions in a state of uncertainty about what is happening, and how they can manage symptoms.
This uncertainty can lead people to trying dangerous fad diets or technology that simply does not work in a bid to manage their symptoms. Launched during IBS Awareness Month in the UK, OMED Health has been created to offer a science-backed approach to monitoring and treating digestive health issues.
OMED Health’s gut health tests can be taken at home to help identify the cause of digestive discomfort such as bloating, cramps, flatulence, or diarrhoea. The company takes this data and, through its partnership with the Functional Gut Clinic, provides test interpretation to help manage any gut health issues more effectively.
For example, the tests can help diagnose SIBO, or lactose intolerance, by detecting small amounts of hydrogen and methane gases in the breath. The tests are already being used by multiple NHS Trusts across the UK.
SIBO involves excessive harmful bacteria in the small intestine, but the symptoms overlap with other gut health issues leading to uncertainty in diagnosis. A significant proportion (~40%) of those living with IBS symptoms have SIBO – but don’t realise. This means they struggle to access treatment, and can’t take control of their gut health.
Billy Boyle, CEO at Owlstone Medical, comments: “People living with digestive health issues currently feel let down. They’re waiting years to get a diagnosis and have little choice but to live their daily lives in discomfort. In desperation, many are turning to fad diets or supplements that have no scientific grounding, or even worse, apps and devices that churn out faulty results or incorrect advice.
“We believe this needs to change. Through OMED Health, Owlstone Medical is deploying our breath analysis technology, developed with the support of gut health experts, to provide people with a solution they can trust. The gases in our breath can be a key indicator to how healthy our gut is and can signal certain conditions and diseases. By using the data our technology can collect, and combining it with expert support, we can create personalised health plans that make people’s lives better. Our aim is simple – helping the billion people globally with digestive health issues live normal lives.”
In the UK alone almost nine million adults experience IBS, and 3.4 million experience SIBO. Digestive health is also cited as one of the leading causes of work absenteeism and global direct and indirect costs are estimated at $20 billion per year. Overall annual healthcare expenditures for gastrointestinal disease total $136 billion, which is more than for heart disease ($113 billion) trauma ($103 billion), or mental health ($99 billion).
A pocket-sized breath tester to better understand your microbiome and response to foods
The next step for OMED Health to build upon its current offering will be the release of a portable, at-home, breath analyzer that can monitor gut health over time.
The device fits in a person’s pocket and can be used anywhere to measure the amounts of hydrogen and methane gas in the breath. The relative amounts of these gases, along with symptoms, can be used to help understand the underlying issues – whether that be IBS, SIBO, food intolerances or something else entirely.
This will be accompanied by a mobile app that a person can use to track their symptoms and the potential triggers they encounter daily. OMED Health’s expert gastrointestinal (GI) physiologists, or a person’s own doctor, would then review the data to help create a plan personalised to them. By continuing to track symptoms along with breath measurements, this will help users understand if the personalised plan is working for them and to improve their symptoms.
Access to the app and the first breath analysers will be available for patients in the UK later in 2023.
About OMED Health
OMED Health is a dedicated, patient-centric brand and digital platform that offers patients and gut health experts access to breath-based analysis, point-of-care (PoC) devices and supporting resources for a range of conditions. With an initial focus on digestive disease and gut health, OMED Health will maximise patient benefit of the Owlstone Medical breath testing technology.
About Owlstone Medical
Owlstone Medical’s vision is to save 100,000 lives by realizing the enormous promise of breath-based diagnostics through the development and application of Breath Biopsy®, a unique platform capable of both biomarker discovery and use in routine clinical testing.
The platform includes ReCIVA®, a proprietary sample collection device that can take stable breath samples anywhere, the world’s only commercial Breath Biopsy Laboratory located in Cambridge, U.K., and the Breath Biopsy VOC Atlas, the most extensive catalogue of identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) commonly found on breath. The Company’s technology is protected by over 120 granted and pending patents and has been used in more than 100 research papers.
Owlstone Medical’s Research Products and Services are being deployed at over 100 sites around the world with large pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Actelion (a J&J company), and GlaxoSmithKline, and leading academic institutions. Projects are supported by Breath Biopsy OMNI®, the most advanced solution for reliable end-to-end global breath VOC analysis, which is helping researchers advance biomarker discovery and disease research and maximizing the chances of finding clinically relevant breath biomarkers.
The company has an active portfolio of Breath Biopsy tests in development for the early detection of lung cancer and liver disease, both areas of high unmet clinical need that represent multi-billion dollar market opportunities. In digestive health, clinical tests for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and carbohydrate malabsorption are already on market, and breath testing is emerging as an effective way for patients to monitor and manage symptoms.
Information for clinicians
OMED Health supports clinics and hospitals by enabling home testing, minimising cancelled or missed appointments, and reducing waiting lists, freeing up time for healthcare staff with no limits on testing numbers. The test comes well within the current NHS tariff and cost includes the kit, analysis and reporting.
Each HMBT kit comes with full instructions, online videos, and telephone support. Patients can do the test whenever it is convenient with no need for an appointment. Once the test is completed, it is posted back to OMED Health using the free post envelope.
Each test is clinically validated to UK, EU and US standards. Test data is interpreted and reported by expert GI physiologists, and tests and non-invasive compared to alternatives such as jejunal aspiration.
Further information on the OMED Health breath analysis process can be found here.
Dan Caley, April Six
+44 (0) 7875468942
Sarah Jeffery, Zyme Communications
+44 (0) 7771730919