Doctorcall

As the world moves ever so exponentially online, with the advent of Industry 5.0, virtual reality and AI, it is changing rapidly to one where man and machine are more connected. From smart fridges to self-driving cars, to a face app that shows you a much older version of yourself like a magical wrinkle in time, it really makes you wonder what the world itself will look like in 10 years’ time.

The future has limitations

In the world of healthcare itself, digitalisation and innovation are at the top of the agenda. From apps to electronic records and virtual consultations, technology is increasingly being used to help relieve pressure on services and overworked staff and to help patients access the care they need faster and easier.

Technology has the potential to revolutionise healthcare, to streamline services and allow patients to take greater control of their health. But technology is not risk-free and has its limitations.

With virtual consultations, you can be treated in the comfort of your own home. But can convenience outweigh the benefits of personal GP visits?

The reality of virtual consultations

A recent article has shed light on the reality of virtual GP consultations, in a case where a patient, Max Pemberton, was given the wrong treatment and the wrong diagnosis – twice, following two separate virtual consultations, putting into question how effective they can be. On one hand, they are easily accessible; on the other, they simply can’t offer the same level of personal touch and close examination that meeting in person with a doctor can offer.

In fact, a study from Imperial College London that looked at video consulting found a lack of evidence to truly form a picture of how safe and effective online consulting can be. The inability of carrying out physical examinations especially places a limit on how effective medical assessments can be when carried out online, meaning that they can be clinically risky. In Max’s case, the medication he was prescribed during the online consultation would have actually made his condition worse.

The value of the traditional

When it comes to your health, there should be no short-cuts. With a world focused on the virtual, there is still much to be said for the value of the traditional.

That’s why we at Doctorcall offer a 24-hour visiting doctor service, for both companies and private individuals throughout London. We understand the importance of convenience to our patients, which is why our service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether it be at their home, hotel or office. Our GPs are happy to visit at a time and location that suits their needs.

The world at your fingertips

Technology has changed our ways of communicating, how we watch things, how we buy things, and even how we visit our doctor. It also poses more challenges than the vision of a doomed world taken over by robots, from privacy concerns to declining human interaction.

With social media and messaging apps, most interactions nowadays happen online. We communicate through filters, in front of our phone or computer screens.

While there is no filter to show you what the world will resemble in the future, there is always the ability to look back on what has worked in the past. That’s why we will continue to champion the value of our personal service, at your fingertips.

For more information about our 24-hour visiting doctor service please visit doctorcall.co.uk/OnCallDoctor or call our team now on 0344 257 0345.

If you are travelling abroad for work or study, you may need to meet certain medical requirements to be eligible for a visa. Amongst the many services that we offer here at Doctorcall, we can provide fast and efficient Visa Medicals, covering a range of countries all over the globe, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, China, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. 

How does it work?

If you require a Visa Medical as part of your visa application, you can easily arrange to have it at one of our clinics in London and Manchester.

The appointment will take up to two hours, during which our experienced doctors will conduct a medical examination and complete all the necessary forms for you. The medical exam will consist of different tests (for example Chest X-ray, Urine Analysis, HIV test) depending on the country you are travelling to and the requirements listed on your visa medical form. We will also be at hand to provide all the information and advice you need to make your visa application as fast, efficient and pain-free as possible.

You can check which examination and test you will be required to take here, where you will also find out more information regarding Visa Medicals based on your country of destination.

How to arrange your Visa Medical with Doctorcall

We can provide appointments at short notice and often on the same day. We can also usually accommodate a range of additional tests and services whether they are in relation to your medical or not, as well as provide additional medical advice and assistance for your travel, including travel vaccinations if required.

All you need to do is book an appointment with us and bring along your passport as well as any relevant information such as repeat prescriptions and specialist letters for any medical conditions that you may have.

You can check for availability using our 'Book An Appointment' tool here. For more information, please visit our ‘Visa Medicals’ page, or feel free to give us a call on 0344 257 0345.

 

When we talk about health inequalities, i.e. the avoidable differences in people’s health across specific population groups, there are a whole host of factors that come into play. From education and good quality housing, through to geography and access to health services. Yet one constant right across the globe is the health gap between men and women. And the stats, as they say, don’t lie.

On average, women in the UK can now expect to live almost four years longer than their male counterparts. Much of this is caused by hormonal differences, for example, men generally have more visceral fat which surrounds the organs, whereas women tend to have more subcutaneous fat, which sits under the skin. However, lifestyle differences play a huge part.

In the UK, one man in five dies before he reaches 65. The tragedy in all of this? With earlier detection, so many of these deaths can be avoided.

It may sound like a stereotype, but men’s reluctance to consult their doctor and talk about their problems is a perennial issue. Research conducted by the Men’s Health Forum indicates that men are less likely to visit their doctor, to acknowledge illness and to seek help, compared to women. This is why the Forum are observing Men’s Health Week from 10th – 16th June, to shine a light on the issues facing men’s health, and to encourage men and boys to seek professional advice for health-related problems.

Let’s drill down further and take a look at some of the areas that are driving these statistics.

Diabetes

Men are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women. The charity, Diabetes UK, states that 3.8 million people in the UK are now living with the condition. Furthermore, in middle-aged men, prevalence is expected to become increasingly more common over the next decade. Therefore, men really do need to be more conscious around how to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to recognise those tell-tale symptoms such as excessive thirst, fatigue and frequent urination to name a few. Weight management, diet and alcohol intake all play their part, and we encourage frequent check-ups to assess your risk level.

Coronary Heart Disease (CAD)

One of the UK’s biggest killers is CAD, which accounts for 1 in 7 of every male deaths in the UK. The condition occurs when the heart’s blood supply becomes blocked by the build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries, which, over time, causes the walls of the arteries to become furred up with fatty deposits. The causes are typically due to lifestyle factors, like smoking and obesity, as well as conditions such as diabetes, and, importantly, family history. To prevent CAD, we monitor the levels of cholesterol and other blood lipids carefully, and, if caught early, can be arrested and even reversed.

Prostate Cancer

As men get older, the prostate, which is a small gland that sits under the bladder, can naturally enlarge. Although enlargement is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to other issues, with urinary problems often a common warning sign. In men, we are particularly concerned to screen for prostate cancer from the age of fifty as it is a silent killer. Once you’ve had that all-important assessment and diagnosis, there are many treatment options, which can range from simply monitoring, to medication and surgery, depending on the severity of the diagnosis.

Mental Health

There has been a step-change in how society views mental health in recent years, but we are still a long way off parity between men and women in its impact. Tragically, over three quarters of all suicides are male, and it is now the biggest killer for men under the age of 35. There are a range of treatment pathways available to those seeking help, however, mental health issues can be severely damaging if left untreated. Therefore, having the courage to visit a healthcare professional and being able to talk openly in a safe environment is hugely important. 

Nothing is More Important Than Your Health

So, gentleman, if you want to be there to experience your kids’ graduation, to play with your grandchildren, and to enjoy a long and active retirement, the old excuses just won’t cut it anymore. Too busy to see a doctor? Make the time. Worried they might find something you won’t like? Identify it early and get the necessary treatment. Nothing is more important than your health.

Peace of Mind Health Screening

Doctorcall offer a range of health screening options. If you are worried about a particular problem or symptom, we recommend booking a private GP consultation and getting the tests that are specifically relevant to that issue rather than a full screen. If you are under 50 and apparently in good health, a Health Screen provides excellent value for money. Otherwise we recommend a Platinum Health Screen. Click here for more information.

Here’s a gloomy statistic for you: the average working Londoner who drives will spend well over 100 days of their life stuck in traffic. Ouch.

A motorbike can be quicker at navigating London's busy streets

Aside from the sheer tedium and stress this causes, life is far too short for it to be spent praying that the traffic light stays green for just a split second longer. So, when it comes to visiting your doctor, the last thing you need to worry about is missing your appointment because of the latest snarl-up on the M25 clockwise.


This is why we are bringing care to you…on two wheels. In a way that is uniquely tailored to that infamous London traffic, one of our Doctorcall doctors is using their motorbike to see patients at their home.


Conventional? Not exactly. A high-quality service tailored to your busy needs whilst living in the capital? Absolutely.
Whilst we can’t guarantee all our doctors opt for this speedy method of transport, Doctorcall offers a range of services designed to suit you. For more information, click here.

Diabetes Week (10 - 16 June) is the annual highlight in the Diabetes UK calendar, designed to raise awareness and understanding of the condition.

 
Over the past 20 years, the number of people in the UK living with diabetes has risen from 1.4 million, to 3.8 million. If we take into account the likely number of those who are undiagnosed, the figure is well over 4 million, with increased prevalence only set to continue. From a global perspective, it is estimated that around 1 in 11 people now have the condition. 
 
There are several factors driving this, from changing lifestyles, more accurate diagnosis, and the simple fact that we are living longer all contributing to these numbers. Yet even though diabetes is more common than ever before, there are many misconceptions associated with the condition, with a key objective of national Diabetes Week is to dispel such myths.
What is diabetes?
 
Type 1 - Type 1 diabetes, or childhood-onset, is characterised by insufficient insulin production and thus requires the daily administration of insulin. Of those in the UK who have diabetes, around 8% have this type, the root cause of which, is still not known to this day.  
 
Type 2 - Type 2, or adult onset, constitutes the majority of those living with the condition and is a result of the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Whereas type I’s root causes are unknown, type 2 is largely the result of behavioural issues, such as body weight and physical inactivity. The symptoms between the two types are similar, however, Type 2’s impact tends to be less marked, often meaning diagnosis is a lot later, enabling complications to develop before diagnosis. 

What are the symptoms?

Type 1 is often identified at a young age because it is sufficiently symptomatic, with increased thirst (polydipsia), urination (polyuria) and general weakness and discomfort (malaise) all tell tale signs of the condition. Type 2, however, is not usually picked up until it is tested for. Nevertheless, the symptoms outlined in type 1 are replicated here, with other issues such as sudden weight loss, or wounds taking longer to heal, also indicating the occurrence of diabetes. 
How can it be managed?
 
Type 1 - A diabetes management plan will help people to manage their diabetes, enabling them to stay healthy and active. Such a plan will include the regular use of prescribed insulin, a balanced diet, with accurate carbohydrate counts, exercise and constant monitoring of their blood sugar levels.
 
Type 2 - With the right level of treatment and care, the effects of type ii diabetes can be managed, and even reversed. There are different ways of treating the condition, but the most common pathway will include healthier eating, exercise and weight loss. Most people will also need medication to bring their blood glucose down to a safer level. 
How can we reduce the risk of diabetes?
 
If left untreated, diabetes boasts a whole host of nasty repercussions, from blindness to kidney failure. Yet while genetics, age and past behaviors all play their part, there are many actions we can all take to significantly reduce the risks associated with the condition:
  1. Avoid purified sugar and refined carbohydrates 
  2. Exercise on a regular basis
  3. Make water your go-to beverage of choice 
  4. Cut out cigarettes
  5. Make a significant effort to lose weight
  6. And finally, be sure to get tested annually!

What Doctorcall can do to help?

Doctorcall provides health screening and also a Diabetes Screen – Home Testing Kit. Also known as a HbA1c test, the Diabetes Home Testing Kit is for anyone concerned about diabetes. Using the latest technology, we can make an analysis from a single sample. This home testing kit is posted in a discrete, unmarked packet delivered by Royal Mail.