A MASSIVE change in the way millions of Brits get health checkups will be introduced.
Face-to-face GP appointments for mid-life checks are set to be scrapped in a bid to ease pressure on the NHS.
The health checks will be done online instead with patients being required to complete a questionnaire, take a blood sample using a kit at home and visit a pharmacy to get their blood pressure checked.
The digital change is set to be tested in a pilot scheme in Cornwall with ministers hoping to introduce it across the country, the Times report.
Minister for public health Neil O’Brien said: “The health check is crucial in preventing and identifying potentially life-threatening conditions, and this digital version will do just that while making patients’ lives easier and reducing pressure on frontline services.”
The NHS health check-up is offered to adults in England aged 40 to 74 every five years- provided they do not have any pre-existing conditions.
It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.
It usually includes having the patient’s BMI measured, get their blood pressure checked as well as cholesterol.
Additionally, a lifestyle screening to discuss levels of exercise, smoking, diet, and alcohol.
The swap to a digital health checkup comes after the Health Secretary said monitoring urinals with new tech could help doctors spot diseases early and would also bust NHS backlogs.
Steve Barclay suggested that high-tech data collection methods like toilet chips will boost Britain’s economy but he insisted it could only be done with the right consent.
“I think if patients want to be able to get early treatment and are therefore willing to lean on their data, providing that can be done in the right way with the right safeguards that is the conversation we should be having,” he said.
“That in turn also creates an opportunity for UK plc around our life sciences and around our future exports because it will build an ecosystem around our universities.”