EPG Patient Direct – A Portal Enabling The Millions Of Patients Seeking Knowledge And Information About Personal Care And Health

IMR International Limited, developers of e-communication and clinical information solutions, today announced that it will launch EPG Patient Direct in June 2007. The service, designed specifically for public and patient use, will provide visitors with access to a vast range of healthcare content written and structured specifically for their needs. As well as ‘Quick Guides’ to most major diseases and conditions, the site will include access to patient support groups, personal health tests and information about treatments prescribed by their doctor. The new service will form part of the EPG web offering, which already includes the doctor focused EPG Online service http://www.epgonline.org, a web service sanctioned by the European Medical Association that provides access to diagnosis and patient management guidance for healthcare professionals.

“We recognise that today’s patient is more informed than ever before. The internet offers fantastic potential for individuals to research their own, or a family member’s condition and to seek greater understanding of treatment options, available support and advice etc. But at the moment, there are some huge drawbacks; finding good information takes time and even when you have found it, it can be hard to verify the voracity of the information” – Chris Cooper, Managing Director of IMR International Limited – “Patients know that to improve their general health or to control a specific condition, especially with diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Disease or an addiction to Smoking, they are going to have to make some lifestyle changes. They want to know more about available treatments and what the options might be. At the moment, many of the existing web based information services offer confused or conflicting advice and sometimes it’s hard to tell who the online content is intended for. Sites like Wikipedia started out with huge potential for the dissemination of information about health, but as time has gone by, they have become unwieldy and difficult to navigate. Inconsistency can be a big problem and anonymity of authors and editors presents a dilemma, it is hard not to develop a serious lack of faith in some of the content found on the web. Most professionals in the industry know about these issues, with EPG Patient Direct, we are setting out to do something about it”

Michelle Kelly, EPG Patient Direct Partnership Director is keen to help make the connection between the very best content and those who need it most ” “A big part of the problem is that the major search engines are often pretty indiscriminate when producing results about health, diseases or conditions. It’s easy to spend long periods of time surfing through endless pages of jargon online, trying to find what you are looking for, and when you think you’ve found it, it’s hard to verify the credentials of the author. That’s what EPG Patient Direct is all about; connecting members of the public with independent, objective, authoritative advice and information.”

“There are some excellent sources of information on the web, but they can be hard to find. We’re not setting out to replace them, but by using a combination of our own content and some innovative search technology, we will make it easier for the public to locate the very best content and advice available.”

EPG Patient Direct will launch in June 2007 and provide free non-subscription based access to healthcare advice and disease information, quick guides to common conditions such as colds and flu, diabetes, high cholesterol & respiratory illnesses. There will also be guidance on general health matters such as contraception, plus background information and access to support groups for more complex conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Other features will include personal health tests and seasonal supplements for everything from holiday travel to hayfever.

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