Researchers from the University of East Anglia have figured out a cheaper and more precise way to detect dehydration in elderly patients. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at almost 600 people over the age of 65 from a wide variety of backgrounds, with varying health conditions and lifestyles. Those behind the research hope that these new blood tests can replace expensive serum osmolality tests taken in laboratories. Lee Hooper, a lead researcher from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical school, explains :
“A serum osmolality test measures the freezing point of blood serum to show how concentrated a sample of blood is. People’s blood becomes more concentrated as they become dehydrated. But it is an expensive and time consuming procedure – and clinical laboratories would not be able to handle routine screening…”
This is the latest breakthrough in a broader effort to widen access to cutting edge healthcare while simultaneously bringing down NHS costs.