London: UK pharmacy Boots is to launch a new service to detect the risk of the bone disease osteoporosis.
This disease which makes more susceptible to breaks fand fractures affects three times more women than breast cancer (1).
Boots is trialing a new in-store osteoporosis screening service that will be in selected stores in Bournemouth and Birmingham for two months during March and April. This new service will offer Boots customers a painless, 10 minute bone density x-ray scan of the hip and spine whilst fully clothed, to identify their risk of osteoporosis
The Boots Osteoporosis Screening Service could be the latest addition to the current portfolio of Boots Pharmacy services available in-store. This new initiative sees Boots partner with New Medical Ltd the medical screening company that specialises in scanning for osteoporosis. The in-store scan will be performed by a qualified radiographer or nurse specially trained to use the specialist Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry (DEXA) scanning system that uses less than one tenth of the x-rays used in a routine chest x-ray. Customers will receive their results straight after the scan and will be given advice about diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes as well as treatment options. They will also be advised to visit their GP to discuss the results if necessary.
Alex Gourlay, Boots Healthcare Director comments: This screening trial is an exciting project and the first of its kind. It demonstrates Boots commitment to providing relevant healthcare services to its customers and tackling the health issues that affect peoples everyday lives. It is estimated that osteoporosis affects 3 million people in the UK alone. The success of this trial could mean that osteoporosis screening could become an in-store service available at more Boots stores nationwide in the future.
Dr David Berger from New Medical Ltd, says: It is exciting for us to be teaming up with Boots on this project to make advanced diagnostic technology more accessible. Early detection is vital if people are to prevent osteoporosis from developing and reduce their chance of debilitating fractures. A simple bone density scan is a sensible precaution for anyone who may be at risk.
Who is at risk?
Women who have been through the menopause are at greatest risk of developing osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. The Boots Osteoporosis Screening Service will be available to the following at risk groups of people:
All post-menopausal women
Females over the age of 40 that display at least one of the at risk symptoms including excessive weight loss, infrequent menstruation or who are menopausal before the age of 45
Men over the age of 60
Any individual following referral by their GP
As a precaution pregnant women and anyone under the age of 18 will be excluded from screening.