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27 April 2011, 10:30
Patients in Southampton are trialling the world's first 'anytime' check-up booth to assess the health of their heart without the need for a nurse, doctor or appointment.
The hi-tech cubicle at Southampton General Hospital enables people fitted with pacemakers the opportunity to have an instant check-up at a time that suits them - so cutting waiting times and missed appointments.
Once patients enter the walk-in booth, they see a series of green lights precede two loud bleeps and a bull’s-eye signal to confirm their data has transferred successfully.
Staff are then able to access the data through a secure server and review the information downloaded from the pacemaker.
People with pacemakers routinely visit hospital once or twice a year for appointments. It is hoped the flexibility created by the booth will remove the added stress of needing to visit a GP first or request a slot to attend.
Professor John Morgan, a consultant cardiologist at the hospital, said: “This innovation is the sort of development in healthcare that we need.
"We can free up patients who don't need to see medical staff from having to attend clinics while focusing staff time on the minority of patients who actually need to see a doctor - an example of how the health service can improve the use of NHS resources,” he said.