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The Rise of Virtual Diagnoses

Posted Friday 19 May 2017 11:35 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

The number of people choosing to treat their health concerns through online research is on the rise. Even doctors are jumping on board, so does this signal a new age of digitalized GP appointments?

In the 21st century, there is one medical know-it-all who has seen more patients than any other. In fact, it is more than likely that you’ve checked your symptoms with him/her yourself. We are talking, of course, about Dr Google. A quick bit of research online and most of us interpret our maladies with help from one of the world’s largest search engines and choose to self-diagnose ourselves after a quick education session online.

A phenomenon of the 21st century, this kind of medical intervention is on the rise – and depending on who you speak to, it can be both a blessing and a curse that so much information is at our fingertips. But the healthcare system itself is also changing – taking on some of the best aspects of the digital age. Take Express Pharmacy as an example: we now offer prescription medications direct to your door in a safe, swift and discreet fashion.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s now on offer to patients.

How getting a diagnosis has changed

When you think about a consultation with a GP, the traditional image conjured up is of a hot and busy waiting room, a doctor’s office, stethoscopes and dreaded waiting times. There’s a reason for this. On average, over 90% of GP appointments involve a patient, a General Practitioner and a family member, but it seems these figures are changing, according to new reports.

In-person appointments are taking on a digital edge, with GPs nowadays referring to tech tablets to retrieve information and instantly contacting specialists in other areas of healthcare related to patient concerns.

GPs are also being given access to a hub of patient data prior to appointments in order to have the relevant information about the individual on hand. This data can include anything from blood pressure, glucose levels and diet to level of activeness and social engagement. This allows GP appointments to be a true exchange of information, with professionals being able to make informed decisions on treatment which reflects the patient overall, rather than the information they’ve shared during a ten-minute consultation.

In America, there are already FDA-approved smartphone apps being used by GPs to help increase the accuracy of physical patient examinations. It seems appointments are slowly but surely being revolutionised by technology.

But the revolution doesn’t stop at physical appointments. It seems more and more of us are opting for online solutions to our health-related problems, engaging in virtual consultations, using online resources and ordering relevant medication through online sources.

Virtual doctor consultations give the opportunity for a 24/7 appointments service. Like the takeover of online shopping, it could soon be the case that online GP appointments are a common and convenient alternative to making the trip to the doctor’s office.

Of course, in some cases a physical examination is necessary for a condition to be accurately diagnosed, and there are concerns that a rise in online diagnoses could lead to a less personalised healthcare system. In order to understand the rise of virtual GP appointments fully, we need to ask ourselves in what way it could be beneficial to healthcare overall.

So how could digitized appointments be a good thing?

On average, a twenty minute or less GP appointment takes more than two and a half weeks to schedule in, and 35% of patients are left waiting for more than fifteen minutes after their designated appointment time. Virtual appointments could help free up a General Practitioner’s busy schedule, as more than a fifth of appointments are for conditions which are easily self-treated.

The option for patients to input their data for GPs to see gives them more accurate diagnoses and more control over the treatment they receive. By having their illness diagnosed online, a patient can then choose which medication route they want to go down whilst still receiving professional information and advice.

Ultimately, an online diagnosis could be a much easier option for patients. It instantly cuts out both travelling and waiting times and allows patients to treat conditions discreetly. This is particularly important for male patients, as men are twice as likely as women to put off seeing a GP until their symptoms become more severe.

Looking to take advantage of our own online pharmacy for your next prescription. Find out more about how it works.


Knowing When to Visit the Doctor Could Be Crucial to Easing the Burden on the NHS

Posted Thursday 16 March 2017 09:57 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

The government recently admitted that the NHS will need £1bn in order to cover the cost of personal injury claims. Money it can ill afford.

According to a recent report, the NHS will need an estimated £1bn bailout to cover the cost of personal injury compensation claims. With such a hefty bill adding to the already overstretched healthcare budget, what can we do to prevent the health service from reaching breaking point?

Knowing when you need the help of a doctor and knowing when to simply rest and take over the counter medication may sound simple, but it could actually save billions of pounds a year. As GP surgeries become busier and busier it is advised that people take ownership of their own illness rather than making a routine trip to the doctor. Importantly, this advice should not deter those with serious conditions that require immediate treatment.

Here are some of the health complaints that a GP should not encounter from day to day:

Leave your cold at home

Research at the end of 2016 found that there had been over five million visits to GP offices for blocked noses, forty thousand for dandruff and twenty thousand for travel sickness.

While blocked noses can be uncomfortable and travel sickness can be a nasty affliction, it is important to be aware that a doctor will only prescribe medication that is readily available over the counter in your local pharmacist. A simple trip to your nearest community pharmacy or a check online with us should be the first port of call when you are suffering from a problem that does not warrant a GP appointment.

For conditions such as altitude sickness, acid reflux, erectile dysfunction, period pains or hair loss, pharmacists are well equipped to treat you and put your mind at ease.

Minor symptoms and illnesses are responsible for 57 million GP visits in the UK, as well as nearly four million A&E admissions every year. Sprains made up 38% of these A&E admissions last year, while 17% of them were for flu like symptoms, and 13% were for insect bites. All this put together costs the NHS around £2 billion – twice as much as their personal injury claim debt!

Learn the art of self-care

One in five GP appointments are reported to be for minor, self-treatable symptoms. Therefore, encouraging patients to practice self-care could save doctors more than an hour every day. That’s a lot of free time that could be used to work through a waiting room full of serious conditions.

Self-care is exactly what it says on the tin – an individual taking the time to look after both their physical and mental health. Lifestyle diseases, i.e. conditions that are attributable to the way we live, make up 75% of diseases in the UK. This shows that making a few small changes to our daily routines could help us avoid GP visits altogether.

When it comes to physical health, drinking more water, eating three healthy meals a day and doing even a small amount of exercise can make a huge difference. Cutting out bad habits like smoking or excess alcohol consumption also helps. Similarly, therapeutic activities and breathing exercises can help your mental health by lowering stress and anxiety.

Turn to Express Pharmacy for help

Our three-step online treatment programme allows you to select a treatment, undergo a free consultation and purchase your required medicine without any hassle and with complete discretion – all from the comfort of your own home.

Express Pharmacy provides NHS approved medical help, treatment and advice without the need to use up doctor time.

If you are experiencing an illness or a problem that is a significant issue to you but not one that warrants visiting your GP, don’t hesitate to try our discreet live chat today and find out what we can do for you.


Express Pharmacy’s Graham Stretch Wins Prestigious RPS Clinical Pharmacist of the Year Award 2016

Posted Wednesday 21 September 2016 14:29 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

The team at Express Pharmacy is delighted to announce that Prescribing Pharmacist Dr Graham Stretch this month won the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Clinical Pharmacist of the Year award.

The ceremony, held during the RPS annual conference in September celebrates and acknowledges the achievements of those within the pharmacy profession. Dr Graham Stretch joined a list of winners whose outstanding contributions have set them apart from others within the profession.

He was commended for his role in leading a pharmacy-team approach demonstrating that clinical pharmacy and medicines management have a vital role to play in delivering an integrated pharmaceutical service for patients. This approach has been adopted by 8 local GP surgeries from community and care home patients. A recent audit of this system found that the approach delivered a saving of around one hour per GP per day – a hugely significant impact over the course of a year.

The award for Clinical Pharmacist of the Year was awarded to Dr Stretch by Scott Richardson, chief operating officer for Pfizer.

Graham said:

“I am delighted and proud to have been recognised through this award. I accept this award on behalf of not only myself but also the team who have worked so hard to make a difference to their local communities, working hand in hand with GP surgeries to deliver a high level of service and ensuring that patient needs are met swiftly and efficiently.

“It is an honour to find myself in the company of so many other worthy winners who have contributed to their profession over the last year and, indeed, a lifetime of hard work and dedication.”

Comments

Adolfo Espitia on Tuesday 04 October 2016 21:30

Can send trimix medicine to usa

Reply
Marina Abdalla on Wednesday 05 October 2016 16:47
Reply to Adolfo Espitia

Dear Adolfo,

Thank you for reading our blog. Unfortunately due to legislation we are unable to ship medication to countries outside of Europe.

I hope this has been of some help to you.

Express Pharmacy Patient Support Team.

Reply

Don’t Forget to Protect Against Heatstroke This Summer

Posted Friday 01 July 2016 11:21 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Millions of Brits will be travelling abroad this summer to escape the grey clouds and rain showers we’ve experienced so far this summer. For those lucky people who find warmer weather on foreign soil, it’s important to prepare properly for hot conditions and take the necessary precautions to protect your health.

Top of the priority list is sunscreen, of course. The dangers of overexposing skin to the sun are well documented and the need to protect against skin cancer with high factor lotion is quite rightly a hot topic at this time of year. However, what many holidaymakers don’t take into account is the need to take precautions against heatstroke.

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a condition that causes the body to lose its ability to cool itself down, forcing body temperature to dangerously high levels. Heatstroke is a similar condition to sunstroke, which is caused by excessive and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and both can be extremely dangerous. While sunscreen can go a long way to protecting the body from the damaging effects of UV rays, a long day in the sun can still have debilitating side effects.

A form of extreme dehydration, heatstroke can cause my serious issues in a sufferer if they are not careful. The main effects of heatstroke are a general feeling of weakness, as well as dizziness and light-headedness or confusion. In more serious cases, heatstroke may even cause palpitations, disorientation and urinary problems such as a decreased output and infections like cystitis. Fainting from heatstroke is not uncommon, particularly for those that have failed to drink sufficient water or have consumed alcohol in place of a soft drink.

How to protect against heatstroke

So, how can you avoid heatstroke and ensure the very best summer health? Well, the best way is to make sure you stay cool and hydrated between the hours of 11am and 3pm, when the sun is typically at its most powerful and the temperature reaches its peak.

In the hottest countries around the world, this is the time when many people are warned to stay indoors. However, if you are committed to braving the heat and heading out to enjoy your surroundings, there are a number of precautions you may wish to take.

Add a 2-litre bottle of water, hat and T-shirt to your list of travel essentials. Maintaining fluid levels is particularly important as it helps the body to sweat – a natural process that will help cool the body. You may also wish to use the water to splash liberally over your face and clothes, which will also wick heat away from the surface of the skin.

It should also go without saying that large amounts of alcohol should be avoided in the hot weather. Drinking is one of the most common causes of dehydration and any alcohol consumed should be accompanied by an equal volume of water.

Other tips for keeping heatstroke at bay include taking regular cooling baths and eating food with a high water content, such as fruit.

As tempting as it may be to spend hours in the sun to work on your tan, always be careful to listen to your body’s needs and keep your health front of mind when travelling to warmer climes.

For more travel advice, why not visit our sister site www.expresstravelclinic.co.uk?


Express Pharmacy Shortlisted for the Online Retail Awards Shortlist 2016

Posted Friday 10 June 2016 10:42 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

ORA 2016Express Pharmacy is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the prestigious Online Retail Awards 2016.

Designed to celebrate the very best examples of retailers using the Internet to reach customers and offer quality service, the Online Retail Awards includes web, mobile and tablet sites. The awards are impartial, expertly judged and open to retailers from all industries and sectors.

Website design is celebrated, as are customer service, innovation and reach, with judging taking place online. The awards are truly international and judges from around the world are able to take part without needing to travel.

Voting for the Online Retail Awards began earlier in the year before the shortlist was drawn up at the start of June. The winners from each category and overall ORA winner will be announced live at the annual ORA dinner and ceremony held at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on the 13th September 2016.

We look forward to letting you know how we get on later in the year! You can find out more information about the awards here.