For the average busy person, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the time to visit a healthcare professional in person. Many struggle to find the time to visit the doctor, while others find it almost impossible to book appointments outside of work hour’s full stop. In situations such as this, what are your options should you fall ill?
When it comes to health, the range of information is endless. From apps, to online forums, to health bloggers, you are never short of options when confronted with a health query. The first week of July is marked in the talkhealth calendar as Health Information Week. To mark Health Information Week we would like to explore the various routes for gathering insightful and valid information on health.
NHS Choices is the official website of the National Health Service. Since its launch in 2007, it has become the UK’s biggest health website accounting for a quarter of all health-related web traffic, with over 48 million people visiting the site each month.
NHS Choices provides comprehensive health information with thousands of articles, videos and tools, helping you to take control of your own health and lifestyle. The website covers information relating to causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments which can give you a more detailed insights into an illness you have or believe you may have. Being equipped with this knowledge can ensure you are prepared and can allow you to make the most out of the NHS and social care services in England.
With the NHS celebrating 68 years of service this week, it is clear that the NHS and NHS Choices provide the UK population with an immense range health support and advice. Visit the NHS choices website to read more.
talkhealth is an online community providing information and support for those with chronic health conditions. Through our numerous hubs we offer information and support, while providing you with an insight into the latest products and treatments. On our hubs you will find our patient journey, which provides a step by step guide of information about different chronic health conditions, news and articles, which are updated regularly and is Information Standard certified, to give you the most up to date, relevant and reliable information, along with links to our communities of members who you can chat with via our forums.
Charity websites will often have very detailed informative pages which give a clear insight into a certain illness or health issue. Providing information on signs and symptoms, treatments, and inspiring stories from fellow sufferers, charity websites do offer incredible levels of support to those who seek help. Charities such as Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and MIND, to name but a few, keep patients informed with the most up to date news on research while offering emotional support to those who need it.
Online doctor services:
With the average working person at work from 9am until 5pm, 5 days a week, it is becoming increasingly difficult to visit a doctor or nurse face to face. However you needn’t sit sniffling by your desk any longer. The number of online doctor services is growing, with companies such as Doctor Care Anywhere, Pruhealth and Push Doctor allowing patients to book an appointment and receive a consultation from a healthcare professional, all from the comfort of your own homes.
These paid-for services provide access to healthcare at a time that suits you. You can book same day appointments, consultations via the telephone or over Skype, and you can even get prescriptions delivered straight to your door.
talkhealth’s online clinics give you the opportunity to speak to doctors and specialists from the comfort of your own home. A new talkhealth clinic begins each month focusing on a different topic but you can post your questions up to four weeks in advance and set a reminder so you can see when your question has been answered. Proudly working in collaboration with a wide range of medical experts and national charities, talkhealth provides this service free of charge. If you wish to ask a direct question or to join in on a discussion all you need to do is simply become a member. Signing up is quick and easy and your information is never shared with any third parties. If you miss a clinic you can still read all of the posts and answers to see if the issues you’re most interested in were covered. Our next clinic is taking place in September and will be centred on the topic of skin. If you would like to find out more about our clinics, and to keep up to date regarding future clinics, please stay tuned on our clinics page.
Many people living with a chronic long term illness, can experience feelings of isolation. It is important to remember that you are not alone. You can be sure there are other people who are having the same experiences as you, and who are feeling the same feelings of isolation that you are. Get those feelings off your chest, share ideas and talk about your health.
At talkhealth, we believe in the power of communication, and we would like to welcome you to join in with our growing communities by talking in one of our forums. With forums devoted to a variety of conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and IBS to name but a few, you can tell your story whilst sharing best practice with others.
You can find our forums via the forums tab on the talkhealth homepage.
Mobile and tablet apps:
For busy people who are constantly on the go, apps which allow users access to health information and guidance via their mobile phone are growing in popularity. Here are a few of the most popular health related apps which you can download today to your iOS or Android phone:
Pacer – A free app that will encourage users to get active, lose weight and feel better. It tracks steps, calories and regularly monitors your BMI.
My fitness pal – This app does all the calorie counting for you. This app gives you access to the nutritional value of over 5,000,000 foods, including meals found at some of your favourite restaurants, making it easier for you to pick the healthier option.
Fitbit – The world’s leading app for tracking all day activity. By wearing the Fitbit bracelet, this app can track any activity you do, even down to how long you have slept.
iTriage – Only available via iOS, this app gives you access to health information, details about medications and allows you to search for doctors and specialists by location. It also provides updates regarding hospital wait times, maps to your nearest hospital and gives you access to emergency hotlines to physician and nurse helplines.
But please beware:
Not every online source is reputable. If you are unsure about the validity of a website, and you are experiencing symptoms that are worrying you, speak to a healthcare professional.
If you’d like to join in the conversation online this week, please visit our twitter page and use the hasthtag #healthinformationweek.