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New digital health check to tackle cardiovascular disease

The Digital NHS Health Check is to be rolled out across England next spring, with the aim of delivering an additional one million checks in the first four years

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the current NHS Health Check has helped to prevent heart attacks and strokes and is currently a face to face check-up for adults in England aged 40 to 74. The tool can help spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Around 1.3 million health checks are delivered each year, identifying 315,000 people living with obesity and 33,000 cases of hypertension, and preventing over 400 heart attacks and strokes.

‘Thousands of heart attacks and strokes could be prevented every year through simple health checks, which would save lives and ease pressure on the NHS,’ said Health Secretary Steve Barclay.

‘This new digital check-up will mean people can do simple tests and get tailored advice from homes while reducing pressure on GP services. This programme is the latest example of how we are using technology to cut waiting times, one of the Government’s five priorities, improve diagnosis and treatment.’

Patients will be able to access the digital health check via a mobile phone, tablet or computer. They will complete an online questionnaire, enter height, weight and blood pressure measurements, and the results of a blood test. Referrals to GPs will only be made if further tests and treatment are needed - helping to reduce demand on services.

‘Millions of people in England are living with conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol that, if left untreated, significantly increase the risk of a potentially deadly heart attack or stroke,’ said Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.