'Personalised healthcare' - Body imaging

Download a PDF of Chapter 10 - Direct-to-consumer body imaging (210KB)

Commercial companies are now offering people a ‘health MOT’ using body imaging technologies such as CT and MRI scans. They claim to look for early signs of conditions such as cancer and heart disease, and can cost more than £1000.

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Personalised healthcare - Telemedicine

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Telemedicine refers to any healthcare that involves communications technology and an element of distance. It includes patients and doctors communicating with each other electronically, and medical devices being operated remotely.

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Personalised healthcare - Buying medicines online

Download a PDF of Chapter 7 - Online purchasing of pharmaceuticals (265KB)

Online pharmacies can allow people to buy medicines conveniently and privately. Great Britain has a registration system for online pharmacies to help people identify legitimate websites.

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'Personalised healthcare' - Online personal health records

Download a PDF of Chapter 6 - Online personal health records (220KB)

Both public and private healthcare providers are starting to offer online health records services.

Through its HealthSpace website, the NHS currently intends to provide everyone in England with online access to a summary of their medical records, including information about their current and past health problems, medication and allergies.

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Personalised healthcare - Online health information

Download a PDF of Chapter 5 - Online health information (319KB)

People have always been able to access health information in newspapers and magazines, but the internet has opened up a range of new possibilities for conveniently finding and exchanging information on health. This can increase people’s involvement in their own health and provide them with valuable support from others.

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'Personalised healthcare' - Ethics

Download a PDF of Chapter 3 - Ethics (172KB)

The following five ethical values are important when considering developments in medical profiling and online medicine:

  1. Private information should be safeguarded.

  2. Individuals should be able to pursue their own interests in their own way.

  3. The state should act to reduce harm.

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'Personalised healthcare' - What is ‘personalised healthcare’?

Download a PDF of Chapter 2 - Historical and social context (212KB)

The term ‘personalisation’ has become very widespread, with many companies, policy makers and doctors claiming that this is the future of healthcare.

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'Personalised healthcare' - Introduction

Download a PDF of Chapter 1 - Introduction (180KB)

New developments in medical profiling and online medicine are promised by their providers as leading to a new era of ‘personalised healthcare’. These developments include:

  • direct-to-consumer body imaging (e.g. CT and MRI scans) and personal genetic profiling as a health check

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