As further evidence of the evolving role of the pharmacist, people will now be able to get an instant lung health assessment at their local pharmacist.

A new partnership between the Lung Foundation Australia and health technology provider, Healthpoint has paved the way for the creation of a computerised questionnaire using a touchscreen unit or iPad which people can use as a checklist if living with poor lung health.

They simply visit their local pharmacist to complete an electronic questionnaire or checklist which details risk factors and symptoms of lung diseases, to help determine whether they should speak to their doctor or not.

The technology is set for roll out in more than 700 pharmacies around Australia.

Lung Infection Image - IStockPharmacists are increasingly involved in testing, screening and disease state management, in therapeutic areas such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension. Estimates suggest each Australian adult, on average, visits a community pharmacy 14 times per year1.

This initiative adds another string to the pharmacist’s bow, allowing members of the public immediate access to the pharmacist, rather than making a GP appointment.

According to Lung Foundation Australia Director of the COPD National Program, Elizabeth Harper, “After completing the lung health checklist, people can then talk with the pharmacist about their results.

“Symptoms of lung disease often creep up on people and they attribute things like breathlessness to getting older.”

Throughout November – Lung Health Awareness Month – the LFA and Healthpoint are urging people to complete the lung health checklist and learn how they can best look after their lungs.

The Healthpoint system also has fact sheets on COPD and other lung diseases for patients and members of the public.

Lung health awareness activities will take place nation-wide this month, including:

  • Mesothelioma awareness displays with morning tea
  • World COPD Day activities
  • Catch Your Breath COPD Community Walks
  • FREE lung screening in the community setting
  • Awareness campaign/s in partnership with GPs, Medicare Locals and community pharmacy
  • Information stands in public places.

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1. Readers Digest Professional Trust Survey, May 2007.