A new at-home screening test for osteoporosis is launching into community pharmacies.
The Osentia osteoporosis screening test, which claims to be the first clinically proven self-test for osteoporosis risk, assesses an individual’s risk of suffering fragility fractures, a common sign of osteoporosis which affects three million people in the UK.
The non-invasive test uses Raman Spectroscopy, a laser-based technique to analyse a fingernail or toenail clipping for changes in the nail structure to provide an indication of an individual’s bone health and fracture risk. Individuals receive a personalised risk assessment, along with an information booklet including tips and advice on how to reduce their risk.
Those identified as low or moderate risk will be advised to speak to their pharmacist for further advice on ensuring optimum bone health, while those at high risk will be directed to their GP for further assessment.
Dr Dawn Harper, GP and expert in women’s health says: “Osteoporosis is a condition often associated with older people, however our bone health starts to decline from our mid-thirties, therefore early identification and intervention is critical to minimise risk and help manage osteoporosis later down the line.
"Pharmacy teams are ideally placed to offer low or moderate risk patients lifestyle advice and refer anyone at high risk to their GP. By combining a nutrient-rich diet, inclusive of calcium and vitamin D, with weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises such as walking, jogging and Pilates, people can help slow down bone loss, strengthen bones and reduce risk of a breakage. This is especially relevant for those at increased risk of developing osteoporosis.”
Ostentia will be available to pharmacy from February 2017 via Ceuta Healthcare.