German Institute for Health Economics and Health Care Research publishes a consensus paper on the possibilities and opportunities of the Humedics LiMAx liver function test in clinical application
The German Institute for Health Economics and Health Care Research (IGV research) has published a consensus paper in the journal WDK (Welt der Krankenversicherung) on the possibilities and opportunities of the Humedics LiMAx liver function test in clinical application.
The consensus paper concludes that application of this novel breath test in the field of liver diagnostics improves patient care and generates economic advantages over existing methods.
Berlin, January 2020
Approximately 1 billion people worldwide suffer from liver diseases and liver cancer, around 2 million people die from liver diseases each year and liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. Knowledge of the functional capacity of the liver is already well documented to be a critical success factor in the context of most liver diagnostic and therapy related decision-making. However, the current practice for assessing liver function and liver function impairment is a complex indirect process based on a combination of surrogate parameters, such as certain blood values, tissue sampling, medical imaging and clinical examination. The results are qualitative rather than quantitative, highly dependent on the experience of the interpreting physician and thus generally characterized by low sensitivity and low specificity.
Within the framework of a LiMAx consensus conference, an international and interdisciplinary group of experts developed a consensus paper, which the IGV research institute under the direction of Prof. H. Rebscher has now published in the journal "Welt der Krankenversicherung" (medhochzwei publishing house; issue 12/2019).
Clinical advantages of the method
The consensus paper describes clinical advantages directly relevant to care, such as the increase of safety in therapy decisions as well as the assessment of the course of therapy in various interventions for liver disease. The spectrum ranges from liver transplants over resections and the TIPS procedure to chemotherapy, avoidance of unnecessary medication, prognosis assessment and increasing patient adherence in the context of therapies.
Economic advantages of the method
Economic advantages result, above all, from improved diagnostics, facilitating targeted therapeutic decisions. Here noteworthy parameters include a reduction in the burden of care, avoidance of expensive medication, especially in intensive care units, support in transplantation decisions and the aforementioned increase in patient adherence, e.g. with lifestyle modifications.
The expert group concluded that the LiMAx test has a high potential benefit for, amongst other things, diagnostic certainty and therapy decisions as well as health economic advantages, especially for the direct cost bearers.
Composition of the expert group
In addition to representatives of Humedics, 21 users belonged to this interdisciplinary group,
who drafted the consensus paper under the direction of the following experts:
- Prof. Dr. Guido Gerken (Emeritus Director, University Hospital Essen)
- Prof. Dr. Ali Canbay (University Hospital Magdeburg)
- Prof. Dr. Thomas Grünberger (Social Medical Centre South, Vienna Clinics)
- Prof. Dr. Andreas Beivers (Fresenius University of Applied Sciences Munich)
- Prof. Dr. Herbert Rebscher (IGV research Gyhum-Hesedorf)
For further information about Humedics and the LiMAx Test please visit www.humedics.eu
Based in Berlin, Germany, Humedics GmbH is specialised in rapid and accurate liver function measurement using LiMAx®, an innovative technology for analysing exhaled air. The LiMAx® test provides physicians with a method for quantitatively assessing an individual patient’s liver function capacity within minutes. This enables physicians to select treatment strategies and follow disease progression based on up-to-date knowledge of the functional health of the liver.
Current applications, which have already been published in prestigious medical journals, include liver function diagnosis before and after liver transplantation, surgical planning for liver surgery (such as assessing how much liver tissue can be removed without increasing the risk of acute liver failure), and assessment of liver diseases such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. At present, more than 20 studies regarding new indications are being conducted. These include diagnosing and staging of chronic liver diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as selecting, monitoring and managing different oncology treatment options.
These studies, initiated by researchers, have already provided evidence of further potential for the LiMAx® tests. The LiMAx® test is in routine clinical use at more than 30 leading university hospitals in Europe. So far, more than 20,000 LiMAx® tests have been performed. The LiMAx® test is commercially available in Germany, Austria and the UK.