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Winter Bugs - common cold, influenza and gastroenteritis

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Winter has arrived and with a combination of the colder weather which bugs thrive in, and the buildup for the holiday festivities,  there is an increase in winter illnesses at  this time. This leads to increased demand in Doctors’ offices, ERs and hospitals filling up with patients who are unwell.  Here are some of the more common winter illnesses which can present at this time of year.

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Could I have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - or is it just Christmas?

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

It’s no secret that the holidays can often be associated more with exhaustion than enjoyment. Presents to buy and wrap, relatives to visit, food to cook….the list is never-ending, so no wonder many of us feel overly tired and lethargic well before the first present has been opened. We can easily blame flu-like symptoms, sore throats or even memory problems on the pre-Christmas build-up. But sometimes these symptoms have another more serious cause and are still lingering long after the decorations have been stored away.

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How do we use symptom checkers? An Isabel Infographic

Posted by Jason Maude on Thu, Dec 06, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

At Isabel we are always pushing for more research and independent studies into symptom checkers and their use. Isabel has been around since 2000, but in the last few years the words symptom checker have become more and more commonplace, as the internet has been integrated into modern life. In our most recent white paper "Enabling Patient Engagement with a Symptom Checker" we discussed how many people now research their symptoms or diagnoses, and the responsibility we have to ensure they have the tools they need to do this with accuracy and efficiency, rather than researching with unvalidated resources.

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The different types of pancreatic cancer - Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) 2018

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

November has been Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM), where people all over the world raise awareness and promote research into this devastating disease with a current survival rate of only 5%. We’ve blogged about pancreatic cancer awareness before, back in 2016, talking about its characteristics, symptoms to look out for, and also the founder of the charity Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA), Ali Stunt. One of the main focuses of PCA is promoting research into early diagnosis, as this is the best way to improve survival rates. Ali Stunt herself survived cancer because of an early diagnosis, and this is the key to getting the right treatment fast and beating pancreatic cancer. There are a few different types of pancreatic cancer, and some of these have slightly different presentations, and all of which share symptoms with more common, less threatening conditions. It is for this reason that pancreatic cancer is often misdiagnosed. PCA believe that education, particularly in the medical community, is a big factor in improving diagnosis and survival rates, so this year for PCAM, we’re talking about the different types of pancreatic cancer.

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Could I have appendicitis? Appendicitis symptoms and removal

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Nov 22, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Appendicitis is an acute medical condition where the appendix becomes inflamed and can eventually burst. It requires urgent medical attention, and usually surgery to remove the appendix.

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1 Minute Read - Postpartum Psychiatric Disorders

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

In a recent blog we covered psychiatric disorders which can occur during pregnancy, but there are also some psychiatric disorders which can occur after the woman has given birth. The postpartum period is up to a year after giving birth,  If a woman has experienced mental ill health in the past, then she is more likely to become mentally unwell during pregnancy or in this postpartum period than at other times in her life.

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Could I have a brain tumor? Brain tumor symptoms and diagnosis

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Nov 08, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

A story currently doing the rounds on the web reports how Mark Givens, recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, lost his driving license due to dangerous driving. This was caused by the mental trauma he was experiencing as a result of his diagnosis. The story is all the more significant because it turns out Mr Givens, from Northern Ireland, could have been spared the trauma as he had in fact been misdiagnosed and was instead suffering from a cyst on the brain. This story illustrates two points. Firstly, the mental trauma caused to patients suffering from a brain tumor and secondly, the fact that this often fatal condition can be misdiagnosed as something relatively minor, albeit a condition that can cause identical symptoms to a brain tumor.

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Celebrating children's hospitals this Halloween

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Nov 01, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Yesterday saw 31st October, a day when many choose to celebrate Halloween, dressing up in scary (and some not so scary) costumes and to do a round of trick or treat. Isabel started out as a tool for pediatrics following the misdiagnosis of a 3-year-old girl, before extending into all ages and regions. For that reason, children’s medicine and hospitals will always be close to our hearts and we wanted to highlight the great work they do. The world of costumes, entertainment and imagination is never too far away from a children’s ward, so Halloween is an opportunity to truly get into the spirit - after all, the holidays are only around the corner! We’ve taken our favourite tweets and pictures of the incredible pediatric staff in US and UK hospitals, sported a costume or two this Halloween.

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10 Facts about breast cancer - Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2018 (BCAM)

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Fri, Oct 26, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide campaign helping to spread awareness, education and promote further research into the most common form of cancer in both the UK and US. In these two countries combined, there are over 300,000 diagnoses every single year, so chances are you've been affected by breast cancer at some point, either directly or through someone you know. We’ve written about the signs, symptoms and cause of breast cancer before, so today we’re giving you some stats and facts surrounding breast cancer, to help spread awareness of just how far we've come, and how far we have to go.

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Patient Empowerment and Healthcare Technology

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Oct 18, 2018 @ 08:23 AM

In a post from 2015, we reported how important the Internet had become, over the previous decade, in enabling health information to be available to all patients. We also suggested that health technology including symptom checkers are becoming tools used in everyday life. A survey published this week by the University of Phoenix supports this and conveys that patients are utilizing healthcare technology to take control of their health.  The September survey involved 2,006 US adults of whom 1,215 had been a patient within the previous three months and some of the findings were:

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