A new report published by the Future Foundation says that 1 person in 7 (14%) is self-diagnosing online rather than going to see their GP. And experts believe that, by 2020, over a third (37%) of us will be using the web to interpret symptoms and order prescriptions.
The study was commissioned by Lloyds Pharmacy which has just introduced ‘virtual’ GPs to 300 of its branches in a first step to offering alternatives to surgeries. Patients can consult the ‘doctor’ from a computer terminal inside the store and get a private prescription to hand within minutes. With outbreaks like swine flu and the fact that fewer people are able to get an appointment with their GP within 48 hours, is this the future of healthcare?
While it may save time and lead to a more accurate diagnosis (there have been reports of swine flu call centre misdiagnosis), it may also do the opposite; there is also something to be said for having an in-depth consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional so that he or she can diagnose you correctly. Also, it reduces the risk of buying fake, potentially harmful medicines online and consulting with bogus doctors.
So what about conditions like hair loss? Lloyds Pharmacy Director Andy Murdock was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, “…remote services provide a viable alternative for lifestyle conditions such as impotence and hair loss”. However, in order to treat hair loss effectively, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. Hair loss may be the result of a medical condition; a quick, five minute online chat may not lead to an accurate diagnosis which means the treatment offered may not produce the results you’re after. Hair loss affects people differently and an individualised treatment plan that is monitored by a hair care specialist will be the most effective course of action.
The Belgravia Centre has been treating hair loss conditions for many years and is able to offer consultations in the clinic or via the website. We have an experienced team of experts with many years experience who can offer a quality service in clinic and online. They take their time in order to give our clients an accurate diagnosis and in preparing an individualised treatment programme.
The advantage of coming into the clinic is that we can offer a photo-scan and video-diary service for monitoring hair growth. However, modern technology means that we can also ask our online clients, who have access to the appropriate equipment, to take photos of their progress.
If you are suffering from baldness, hair loss or thinning hair and would like to discuss treatment options, we offer free consultations. To book an appointment, please call on 020 7730 6666 or message the clinic. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form and we will be in touch.
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