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Murray Ellender, GP and CEO, eConsult discusses how digital technology can be used to help and refer patients who are worried about their health.
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is having huge ramifications across our healthcare ecosystem. While the NHS and clinicians work tirelessly to protect patients and fight the virus, the focus required on containing it has come at a cost to other areas of care that could have consequences in the long haul.
One area of healthcare that has been affected by the fight against COVID-19 is cancer diagnosis and treatment. Research published by the Lancet Oncology Journal found that disruptions to cancer screening and referrals, both key to early diagnosis, as well as reductions in seeking healthcare services due to the pandemic, could result in around 3,500 potentially avoidable deaths from the four main cancers in England by 2025.
These figures are a cause for concern. While it was necessary to encourage people to stay at home at the height of the pandemic to reduce the spread of the virus, this has potentially resulted in many who had concerns or symptoms not seeking help.
Anyone with worrying symptoms needs to be seen and receive the appropriate diagnostic …
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