αlpha users are provided with the highest levels of support by phone, email or, if necessary and possible, remote computer access. This web site contains further assistance including detailed questions and answers on screening and advice on how to use αlpha.
If you have a query please check to see if it has been answered on this web site as it is updated regularly. If you are unable to find an answer please contact us either by email or by phone.
For advice on installing αlpha onto a new computer please refer to the supported platforms to ensure your hardware is supported. Additional software may be needed to access all the features in αlpha.
Questions & Answers
This section contains answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about alpha.
It is often thought that a false-positive rate (FPR) of 5% is somehow 'correct', because a 5% FPR is commonly used in the literature as a standard when comparing the performance of different screening tests. However, the correct FPR for your population will not necessarily be the same as the published estimates. It will depend on a number of factors, including the age distribution, which may differ from the age distribution of the standard populations used in scientific papers.
- A diabetic woman has an AFP level of 2.3 MoM - why does αlpha say her AFP is raised, when my cut-off is 2.5 MoM?
- How does αlpha interpret nuchal translucency (NT) and first trimester serum markers in a twin pregnancy?
- Can a warning be given if the screening result appears to be heavily influenced by a single marker measurement?
- Why is the screening report positive when a previous pregnancy is affected with Down's syndrome or neural tube defects?
- Why is screening for neural tube defects not carried out at 14 weeks?
- What is the "scan update rule"?
- What is the best gestational age for first trimester tests?
- Can I specify which set of normal medians to use?
- What maternal age related risk equation does αlpha use?
- What does it mean when a MoM value falls outside the 95% confidence interval around 1.0 MoM?
- How does αlpha make adjustments for in-vitro fertilization pregnancies?
- Why is the screening result for neural tube defects based on the AFP MoM value and not on the risk estimate?
- Why does αlpha not draw attention to markers which are individually high or low?
- When should women who are diabetic be identified as such in αlpha ?
- I plan to change from RIA kits to a non-radioactive method. Do I need to change anything in alpha?
- How are detection and false-positive rates estimated?
- How do I estimate centile values?
- What is meant by capping a risk estimate?
- What are truncation limits?
- What are the ways of expressing risk?
Some questions are better answered by a guide so we have provided a series of guides on how αlpha works and changes are made within the program.
αlpha provides a broad range of quality control and monitoring features, to help you determine the performance expected from your screening programme, and ensure that the expected screening performance is achieved. For more details on the different monitoring features click here.
- I want to analyse my screening data using Microsoft® Excel®. Can I transfer the data from αlpha into a spreadsheet?
- Adding additional markers
- Updating medians after a kit change
|Client PC||Windows® XP with service pack 3, Windows® 7 (recommended), Windows® 8 (recommended), Windows® 10 (recommended)|
|Server||Windows® Server 2003 and later|
|Memory||We recommend a minimum of 2GB|
|.NET Framework||Version 4.0|
|SQL Server or SQL Server express||Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 or 2017|
Please ensure all these specifications are met before installing alpha. If you are unsure about meeting this specification please contact us.
αlpha is based on published scientific data and is regularly updated in the light of new scientific advances in screening and diagnosis.View all references
If none of the above sections has solved your problem or answered your question please use the following details to contact us:
|Phone||+44 (0) 207 600 3193|
|Fax||+44 (0) 207 606 0506|