The NHS Health Check programme, which launched on 1 April 2009 in England, is for adults aged 40 - 74 and aims to identify vulnerability to vascular diseases, which affect more than 4 million people in England. It is estimated that screening patients with the NHS Health Check will prevent at least 9500 heart attacks and strokes per year, 2000 deaths per year and will prevent at least 4000 people developing diabetes.
Jeremy Cummin, Executive Chairman of Telehealth Solutions, the manufacturer of CardioPod, states:
"Our new CardioPod offers patients a simple but in-depth health check under the supervision of a professional with immediate results, feedback and advice provided. Tests results, which previously would have needed time to be processed externally by laboratories, are now completed by the CardioPod at the point of care over the course of the check, ensuring patients receive instant, personal guidance from the professional on how they can reduce their cardiovascular risk level. Our aim is to carry out the Health Check as easily, effectively and as efficiently as possible and our telehealth system ensures both the patient and the people managing the patient's care are immediately fully informed of the test results and advised course of action."
As a standalone unit, the CardioPod comes with scales and sphygmomanometer to capture basic vital signs information. A Cholestech LDX blood chemistry analyser is available as an option to add a lipid profile and blood glucose measurement in less than five minutes.
All tests are carried out at the point of care using the CardioPod, ensuring that the NHS Health Check is completed in one sitting and patients receive instant feedback. The CardioPod is very patient-friendly with a clear and easy-to-use touchscreen; patients can answer the standard Health Check questions themselves. The cardiovascular risk score is then calculated on the CardioPod using the industry standard risk assessment tool Qrisk 2 and is displayed visually as a square of smiley and sad faces whose proportions vary with risk level.
Information from the CardioPod Health Check is uploaded to a secure database for appropriate analysis and review. The results of the discussion between the patient and the care provider on how they can improve their risk score are recorded by the CardioPod and a printout of the patient's agreed actions is created for the patient to take away. This list of action points can also be stored on the secure server for follow up when the next Health Check is carried out.
Instant access to information and a reduction in time required to carry out procedures is not only a benefit to the patient but to the care provider carrying out the Health Check. The CardioPod's capacity to store and process information results in a big reduction in clerical time spent entering information, avoiding clerical errors, and patient records and progress can be accessed and analysed with ease. By including point-of-care blood analysis, the further benefit is that the full check can be completed in one setting, so the problems of patient recall are eliminated.