Although we have some understanding of the impact health anxiety has on our health service as a whole,the real cost of reassurance is something we are unable to calculate.
Yet, as a mother and a daughter and a partner, I know the value in reassurance but as an entrepreneur, I realise that reassurance isn’t something the NHS can sustain.
There comes a stage in life when worrying about others seems to become part of our job description. It’s an age when your parents are ageing, your children aren’t quite old enough and your partner is suddenly at risk of health complications, which means you must be, too.
Aside from the cost to the NHS, I know that the worry that is often associated with the health and well being of others has an impact on my own productivity, ability to concentrate and efficiency as a whole. Once you appreciate the fragility of life, it can be hard not to over react to changes whether it’s my mother being a little quiet or my daughter seeming exhausted, health, I’ve realised is something we take for granted in ourselves but often need reassurance of in the ones we love.
It is in understanding the real cost of reassurance that the importance of self-health checks became apparent to me. Going through the process of trying to get hold of someone at the GP surgery, waiting days for an appointment whilst all the time the need for reassurance grows as that irrational niggle starts to become a little louder, I began to search for a solution using technology and approved information.
The Elephant self health kiosks have been the outcome – an interactive information kiosk that allows people to perform a variety of basic physical and mental health checks without interaction or support from health experts. The immediate insight comes without delays and can provide immediate reassurance that saves predominantly significant pressure on the NHS but importantly, the preoccupation of worry about health the health of others in my own mind.
We will never really know the real cost of reassurance but, I personally believe when you reach a stage in life when you are responsible for the well being of others, you will realise the value of it – and that is when our kiosks change from an information point to a point of evolution for health care as a whole.