Until now there hasn’t been a nationwide doctor-led service which can quickly and carefully resolve patients’ medical questions in the UK
British doctors launch ThanksDr, for quick and confidential consultations online – no appointments needed
London, UK. 14 June 2010 – ThanksDr, a new online ask a doctor service where anyone can get expert medical advice within 24 hours from experienced, British-qualified doctors, launches today in the UK.
Frustrated by the length of queues for NHS appointments and the inability of NHS direct to manage all of its medical queries, ThanksDr has been set up with a team of leading UK specialist Doctors who are able to respond to any medical complaint, with a simple fee of £25 per condition.
Pre-launch research by ThanksDr has indicated there is a strong demand for online-medical advice:
1 in 4 consultations to NHS Direct, an existing consultation service staffed by both non-qualified phone operatives and Nurses not Doctors, results in a referral to a GP.
Men cringe at the thought of seeing a doctor face to face for about 75% of common personal conditions.
80% of patients worry that they’ll be seen as time-wasting by Doctors, putting them off making appointments.
Dr Clare Craig, the founder and Managing Director of ThanksDr, comments:
“Until now there hasn’t been a nationwide doctor-led service which can quickly and carefully resolve patients’ medical questions in the UK. Whilst similar paid-for services exist in the US, here in the UK we have to rely either on advice given by Nurses, or wait patiently for an NHS appointment which is too short to address every concern . This system is crying out for an alternative way to get reliable thoughtful advice.”
The need for intelligent and professional advice tailored to the individual comes partly as a response to the availability of ‘health’ information on the internet, much of which can be misleading, ill-informed, and cause people to fixate on unlikely worst case scenarios. Recent research showed that a third of people searching for advice on common complaints, would go on to worry about rare and grave, often fatal diseases*.
“ThanksDr cuts through all this worry and misinformation by providing its users with a timely, professional, expert opinion and advice from British Doctors,” continued Dr Craig, “The art of medicine is not just matching symptoms to diseases it is about weighing up probabilities for an individual.”
To get an expert opinion and advice on any medical concern, simply ask your question at www.thanksdr.co.uk. For June 2010, ThanksDr has an introductory offer where any medical question will be answered for £15. The service is only available for UK residents.
Research undertaken by ThanksDr highlighted that the most embarrassing medical condition for men and women, where they’d rather get confidential online advice than seek a doctor’s appointment was a Sexually Transmitted Disease. The research also showed:
Mental health issues were rated as more embarrassing than a testicular lump for men or excess body hair for women.
Overall men were 37% more embarrassed about mental health issues than women and twice as embarrassed if they imagined having to see their GP about dementia.
Surprisingly seeing a GP about a breast lump was considered one of the least embarrassing conditions less embarrassing than diarrhoea.
Men are more than 6 times as embarrassed to see their GP about enlarged male breasts (“man boobs”) than women are about breast lumps.
Women by contrast were more grown up about their health, with only 13% of women embarrassed by traditionally taboo subjects like menstruation and fertility problems.
Predictably the conditions that cause women most embarrassment were sexually transmitted diseases with only 1 in 8 women who would not be embarrassed to see their GP compared with 1 in 20 men.
Flatulence was three times as embarrassing and constipation twice as embarrassing as diarrhoea.
Across both sexes, socially awkward conditions or those for which people perhaps feel more responsible were much more embarrassing than those likely to be attributed to external factors e.g. flatulence rather than diarrhoea.
Patients embarrassed about fears
The level of embarrassment depends on the GP with gender playing an important role. For one woman the most embarrassing situation would be “to admit that [my GP’s] line of care didn't seem to be working as I hold him in such high regard.” While others added that what would be embarrassing for them would be admitting to a fear of cancer or other serious illness like Alzheimer’s.
The top 10 embarrassing medical conditions for Men and Women are
1. Sexually Transmitted Disease
2. Erectile problems
3. Foreskin problems
4. Enlarged male breasts
6. Anal problems - itching / pain / bleeding
7. Body odour problems
8. Mental Health
9. Potentially being a time waster
10. Testicular lump
1. Sexually Transmitted Disease
2. Itchy vulva
3. Anal problems
4. Offensive vaginal discharge
5. Body odour problems
6. Potentially being a time waster
8. Pain on intercourse
10. Drink / drug related problems
For more information visit www.thanksdr.co.uk.
To find out more contact Dr Clare Craig, Managing Director on firstname.lastname@example.org.
ThanksDr is a new online service that allows patients to ask medical questions and get answers within 24 hours from British qualified, experienced Doctors.
The service costs £25 per question, which includes all follow up questions and clarifications. To ask a question, visit www.thanksdr.co.uk. All questions and customer’s details are treated with the utmost confidentiality.
ThanksDr is staffed by a team of GMC-registered, British-trained Doctors, who have a minimum of seven years experiences within the NHS.
ThanksDr was created by Dr Clare Craig, who trained in medicine at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and is currently a consultant cytopathologist at a major London teaching hospital.
For more information, visit www.thanksdr.co.uk
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=7652... - Cyberchondria: Studies of the Escalation of Medical Concerns in Web Search. Ryen W White and Eric Horvitz (Microsoft research).
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