The UK government has announced the rollout of a Digital NHS Health Check, which aims to deliver one million health checks across England starting from spring 2024.

The current NHS Health Check has been effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes and is conducted face-to-face for adults aged 40 to 74. The new digital check will run alongside the existing in-person check, providing an additional one million checks over four years while alleviating pressure on GP surgeries.

Patients will be able to access the check through their mobile phones, tablets, or computers, completing an online questionnaire and entering measurements such as height, weight, blood pressure, and blood test results. The results will be available online, offering personalized advice to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, smoking cessation guidance, and weight management support.

Referrals to GPs will only be made if further tests and treatment are necessary, thereby reducing demand on GP services. The digital check is expected to save time, with each check estimated to save 20 minutes of NHS time, potentially freeing up a significant number of appointments and helping to reduce waiting times.

The initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to using technology to improve diagnosis, treatment, and reduce waiting times. The rollout builds on other technological initiatives, including the Better Health: Rewards app pilot and the NHS Digital Health Check trial. The introduction of the digital check follows a recommendation from the 2021 NHS Health Check review, with the aim of empowering individuals to manage their heart health effectively. While some experts welcome the digital check’s potential to reach more people and improve health outcomes, others caution that addressing the shortage of staff in primary care remains crucial for sustained improvement in healthcare services.

Article written by Andrea Chipman/ Image by Tickertest



Digital Health