Headlines: February 6th, 2002

Subscribers to Video Networks’ HomeChoice video-on-demand service in the London area can now get instant visual advice and information about common illnesses through the TV set. This is one of four interactive digital television pilots commissioned by the Department of Health. The service is an extension of NHS Direct Online web site http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.ukThe service helps families make the right decisions when it comes to first aid and understanding health conditions. It covers a range of health issues from first aid advice to patient case studies concerning more serious conditions. There is a directory of London A & E departments, and an interactive video on blood donation that, with a single click of the TV remote control, automatically sends a request to the National Blood Service for an information pack to be posted to that viewer.

There is also a healthy living area where HomeChoice subscribers can complete on-screen self-assessments about healthy eating, drinking and stress management. As with the NHS Direct Online website, viewers will be encouraged to make direct contact with health professionals if they have any serious worries.

The content for the service was developed by Communicopia in collaboration with NHS Trusts, the National Blood Service and St John Ambulance.