PocDoc’s Review of 2023: Striving to Close the Cardiovascular Disease Screening Gap


PocDoc’s Review of 2023: Striving to Close the Cardiovascular Disease Screening Gap

Authored by: Dr Matthew Lee; BMSc, MBBS, MSc

What's in this PocDoc Article: 

PocDoc leading innovation in 2023

PocDoc is leading the way in healthcare innovation by redefining how healthcare assessments are conducted for Cardio, Metabolic and Renal diseases. PocDoc's primary mission is to make comprehensive cardiovascular health checks fast, accessible, and user-friendly. 

During 2023, we have successfully rolled out our PocDoc Lipid Test and digital cardiovascular Health Check pathway throughout the UK to improve access to lipid testing and cardiovascular disease risk assessment.

With our community outreach programs, we are starting a movement to increase access to lipid testing. Here is a glimpse into the lives touched and the milestones achieved in the first year of PocDoc’s launch.

PocDoc Data Highlights the Need to Improve Access to Cardiovascular Disease Screening

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the UK, yet 80% of cases are preventable. Alarmingly, the incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases are disproportionately high in deprived areas of the UK compared to wealthy areas. 

As evidenced in the 2023 Annual Report from the UK's Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Christopher Witty, the consequence is that people in wealthy areas have 40% more healthy years of life than in deprived areas. 

In the fight against cardiovascular disease, early detection and lifestyle changes are key factors for change. We are committed to improving screening across the UK through PocDoc's digital cardiovascular risk assessment tool, which contains the first digital, fully quantitative multi-marker lateral flow lipid test.

Data obtained from users of PocDoc in 2023 highlights the scale of the cardiovascular screening problem:

1. 39% of people tested by PocDoc have high cholesterol

  • Aggregated data from everyone who was tested through the PocDoc digital cardiovascular Health Check pathway in 2023 showed that 39% of our users have cholesterol levels above the recommended target by the NHS. This statistic is not just a number—it's a wake-up call. 
  • PocDoc provides the actual result, highlights results outside the recommended NHS range and provides users with the necessary information and resources to seek help to lower them.

2. 25% of people tested by PocDoc are unaware of their high cholesterol levels

  • In our first year of testing across the entire United Kingdom, we discovered that 25% of PocDoc users were living with high cholesterol but were completely unaware of that.
  • These users had never had a lipid blood test done before. By providing information on their lipid levels, PocDoc equipped individuals with the knowledge to change and take control of their health.
  • Our user data also showed that 79% of all people tested had never had their lipid levels checked before. This shows the scale of the problem regarding lack of access to cardiovascular disease screening.

3. High need in individuals over the age of 40

  • Although individuals over the age of 40 are eligible to receive the NHS Health Check, many people do not take up this offer. Our PocDoc data suggests that over 70% of individuals tested were over the age of 40 yet the majority of these people had never had their blood lipid levels tested. 
  • This suggests that in the areas where we conduct screenings, the NHS Health Check alone is not sufficient to educate about cardiovascular health.

PocDoc Success in Rolling Out Targeted Testing Across the UK

PocDoc's vision of reducing cardiovascular disease nationwide is becoming a reality, with an expanding footprint across the United Kingdom. As shown below, our reach now extends to communities from Edinburgh to Cornwall and is growing all the time:

Picture 1

We are also making a deliberate effort to serve communities that typically face barriers to healthcare access and that have a disproportionately high burden of cardiovascular disease. These include rural areas, areas with high deprivation and high numbers of individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds.

In these communities we're directly addressing the healthcare disparity that leaves many without convenient access to essential health services. The PocDoc Platform represents more than just a medical device but is a bridge connecting underserved communities and the broader healthcare system.

PocDoc Data Demonstrates High Levels of User Satisfaction                                                          

In 2023, we achieved our primary mission of providing convenient, comprehensive health assessments without sacrificing healthcare quality. Feedback from our users shows an impressive 89% of individuals using PocDoc rated their experience 10/10 for convenience.

The average score across everyone who did the survey was over 9.5.

Additionally, 98% of all the users tested confirmed that the cardiovascular assessment provided by PocDoc was significantly more convenient than arranging and attending a GP appointment.

The Net Promoter Score, traditionally used as a key metric for customer satisfaction, was 92, which ranks PocDoc alongside businesses such as Tesla, Nutanix and Loanboox.

PocDoc users say:

  • “I really like the PocDoc test where I get my results straight away. Sometimes getting a GP appointment is such a hassle but this really is such a quick process.”
  • “This test was so convenient to do. I just popped in at work with no appointment needed and I got all my results within 10 minutes.”

Key 2023 Partnerships and Nationwide Community Outreach Efforts:

PocDoc's efforts in 2023 were focused on closing the cardiovascular screening gap and increasing access to lipid testing. This was possible through many collaborations and extensive community outreach programs with our valued partners, including:

  • National Pharmacy Association (NPA): In collaboration with the NPA, PocDoc is enhancing preventive healthcare in pharmacies across the UK, offering efficient cardiovascular assessments and shaping the future of community health services.
  • Co-op Lincolnshire & NHS West Yorkshire: These community partnerships have been instrumental in integrating PocDoc's innovative health checks within local communities by providing accessible health screening throughout the year.
  • Pharmacy Group collaborations: Collaborations with pharmacy groups such as Knights Pharmacy (part of Well Pharmacy), Peak Pharmacy, Dears Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy Cornwall, enabled PocDoc to bring advanced health assessments to the public during 2023, facilitating early detection and management of heart health risks.
  • Newcastle GP Services: PocDoc worked alongside healthcare professional to incorporate PocDoc's quick and reliable health assessments into routine care on the Newcastle GP health bus, which travels across the UK.

Link to Community Outreach playlist

Transforming Health with PocDoc: Jason's Journey to a Healthier Life


An Unexpected Wake-Up Call 

Jason, a 38-year-old working in Cambridge, decided to participate in a PocDoc cardiovascular health screening being offered in his workplace. Curious and generally unconcerned about his health, he thought the test would confirm his wellness. 

However, the cardiovascular health assessment showed some results were higher than the recommended NHS level, indicating a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This unexpected outcome was a shocking wake-up call for Jason, prompting him to re-evaluate his lifestyle choices.

"I always considered myself fairly healthy, but the PocDoc test really opened my eyes. Seeing those numbers above the NHS recommended level was a real shock." 

Embracing a Healthier Lifestyle - Finding Enjoyment in Fitness   

Once Jason received his results, he had a serious conversation with his partner, and together, they decided to make significant lifestyle changes. They purchased a treadmill and top-of-the-line running shoes and set up an exercise corner in the shed. 

They adjusted their diet, focusing on healthier options. Jason then developed a running routine while doing an enjoyable activity, watching his favourite shows, and slowly increasing the intensity and duration of his runs.

"I found running just before bedtime worked best for me, and I made sure to only drink water after exercising, just occasionally having some fruit instead of sugary drinks."

Dietary Changes: A Balanced Approach

Along with exercise, Jason made a conscious effort to improve his diet. This included swapping high-calorie snacks for healthier alternatives and increasing his vegetable intake. While he allowed himself weekend treats, he maintained a focus on moderation.

"I realised it wasn't about just cutting out foods I love but about finding healthier ways to enjoy them."

Results and Reflections 

The results of Jason's lifestyle overhaul were clear:

  • A loss of over 2 stone in weight
  • Improved BMI into the healthy range 
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Lowered QRISK score
  • Enhanced overall fitness
  • Improved energy levels

His success was rooted in a personalised approach, combining enjoyable activities, realistic goals, and balanced nutrition.

Jason's Advice for Others

Throughout Jason's journey, he stressed the importance of setting realistic goals, incorporating enjoyable activities into exercise routines, and maintaining a balanced approach to diet. His key message is to find a personal approach focusing on gradual, sustainable changes rather than extremely drastic ones.

Jason credits that initial PocDoc health assessment with improving his life by sparking the initial push to make change. Jason's journey is a great example of the effectiveness of PocDoc health screenings in creating positive change.

Get in touch to find out more

Contact us Careers

Depositphotos 30462227 L lq