Goodbody Health Inc (AQSE:GDBY) Scientific Advisory Committee Chair Professor Clive Page caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss how the pandemic altered people’s perception of their health, areas of concern for the population, opportunities for the Goodbody Clinic Network and how the Scientific Committee contribute to the knowledge within the group.
Q1: Clive, how do you think the pandemic has altered the perception of people’s health requirements?
A1: I think the pandemic has made everybody more aware of their health and I think, as we’ve seen as the pandemic has developed, that some people are more at risk than others.
There’s clearly a risk associated with age but I think what has become more and more apparent is that people with underlying comorbidities, that maybe they didn’t know they had, were more susceptible to this.
I think it’s made people much much more aware that they need to take care of themselves and certainly think about their weight, blood pressure and the sort of things that we perhaps take for granted.
Q2: With the stresses and the strains on the NHS, which particular areas are a focus of concern for the population at large would you say?
A2: There’s been so much focus on COVID in the last 2 years that perhaps we’ve taken our eye off the ball of other chronic diseases and indeed acute diseases, but things like cancer for example, cardiovascular disease and getting people assessed for their blood pressure, their lipids status and whether they’re at risk of diabetes and all that follows that to do with strokes and heart attacks.
I think there’s been a lot of stress and strain and we’ve got to get people into the mindset of taking care of themselves a bit more and being aware of some of the risks that they have themselves. From their diet, from their quality of life and the things they do every day and actually taking more ownership of their own health so that they take away some of these risks.
Q3: So, what opportunities would you see with the Goodbody Clinic Network?
A3: I think what you’re doing within the Goodbody Network, particularly working with pharmacies and General Practitioners to really get people to regularly test for common risk factors involved around diabetes, blood pressure, that result from poor diet, lack of exercise, I think it’s an excellent thing.
I think we should be culturally moving towards identifying people early to prevent some of these things occurring rather than waiting for people to have disease and put pressure on the NHS where we have to start treating people for things that are often preventable. If we think of smoking, if we stopped smoking, we can cut down the risk of people who’ve got lung diseases like COPD, if we alter our diet and our way of life, we might actually have a lot less people ending up needing treatments for blood pressure, strokes etc.
Q4: How does the Scientific Committee contribute to the knowledge of the Goodbody Health Group?
A4: What we’re trying to do within the scientific community within the Group is look for opportunities for simple ways that pharmacies and General Practitioners can actually help understand the health and wellbeing of people in the general population, identify people potentially at risk and then direct them to the appropriate healthcare providers for appropriate treatment. Also, looking for opportunities for really credible testing systems to do that and I think that’s important, there’s no good offering a test if it’s not validated and it hasn’t got some real validation behind it.
So, we’re trying to bring a rigorous and robust approach to anything that the company does to make sure that they do it to the highest possible standard so that the healthcare providers that rely on this information have got the best evidence in terms of the advice they give their patients.