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New machine to test lifestyles

PUBLISHED: 23:00 23 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

WE HAVE all heard of the scales that speak your weight - but a Suffolk primary care trust has gone one better with a set that can give you lifestyle advice!

The revolutionary new touch screen computer gives patients a quick and easy assessment of their lifestyle, health and diet without having to tell the doctor.

WE HAVE all heard of the scales that speak your weight – but a Suffolk primary care trust has gone one better with a set that can give you lifestyle advice!

The revolutionary new touch screen computer gives patients a quick and easy assessment of their lifestyle, health and diet without having to tell the doctor.

But be warned – the computer is not intended to replace the doctor and if a patient does have concerns they should see their doctor.

The 'Touch Screen Community Tutor' as it is known, weighs the user whilst asking a number of different questions about their health and their lifestyle.

It has been bought by Central Suffolk PCT and will be circulated around various organisations in the area.

It is hoped that with the breaking down of barriers, the computer will be able to raise important questions about the users health and diet that could otherwise have gone unasked if people were too frightened to face the doctor.

Julie Collier is the coronary heart disease network manager of East Suffolk.

She said: "This is a great opportunity for people to assess their lifestyles quickly and easily.

"Although we only have the one computer at present, we are keen to make it available to as many patients as possible, hence the rotation around the surgeries."

But she was quick to point out that the machine is not intended to replace a doctor.

She said: "The Touch Screen Tutor does give evidence-based advice, but the advice is only general.  

"If a patient has concerns, they must seek medical advice."

Although the deaths from cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and strokes have been falling since 1971, it is still the biggest killer in the UK with more than 1 in 3 people dying from the disease in 2000.

It is estimated that about 36 per cent of deaths from heart disease in men and 38 per cent of deaths from heart disease in women are due to lack of physical activity.

The Government recommendation on physical activity is that adults should do a minimum of 30 minutes of at least moderate activity such as brisk walking, cycling or climbing the stairs on five or more days of the week.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters at Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or make your point known on the Evening Star website forum by clicking on www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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