Our Future Health enters an exciting new phase, as volunteers join the programme at high street pharmacies
On Tuesday 12th July 2022, a quietly momentous thing happened at Our Future Health. That morning, we opened appointments at four high street locations around the country. It means that anyone in the UK aged 18+ can now join Our Future Health, to help future generations live healthier lives for longer.
The appointments, which can be booked online, are available at Boots stores in Birmingham, Bradford, London, and Manchester.
The milestone marks an important new phase for our programme, with more ways to sign up planned for later in 2022.
‘Signing up was immensely easy’
Our Future Health volunteers donate their health data so that researchers can find new ways to prevent, detect and treat diseases such as dementia, cancer, and diabetes.
Signing up involves a three-step process: volunteers give their consent for researchers to access their health records (1), complete a questionnaire (2), and attend an appointment (3). At the appointment, they have a blood sample taken by specially trained team members, plus some physical measurements including their blood pressure.
According to Martin Price, who is one of the first members of the public to join our programme at a Boots store, the process is “quick and easy”. Martin signed up in Birmingham, but only after he’d had to delay his appointment due to mid-July’s intense heatwave. “Everything was immensely easy to do – even through to changing the time of my appointment.”
“I found the digital service really easy to use, and the appointment itself went smoothly. It probably took 20 minutes on the day.”
What made Martin, a 28-year-old service design manager, want to join Our Future Health? “I’ve got some hereditary health problems in my family, including arthritis, so I thought ‘if it helps research in the future then it’s a good thing to do’. It’s interesting to know when a disease carries through genetically. I hope my taking part is of help to researchers.”
‘An accessible route to joining Our Future Health’
The Boots pilot, which is set to be followed by pop-up clinics around the country, is helping Our Future Health to establish a presence on UK high streets.
“We’re delighted to be working with Boots on this pilot to help us to achieve our goal of helping people live healthier lives for longer,” said Dr. Raghib Ali, Chief Medical Officer of Our Future Health. “By ensuring that a diverse range of people participate in Our Future Health, we can make discoveries that benefit everyone.
“Having an opportunity for volunteers to join us via their local Boots store will make it easier and more accessible than ever before for people from all walks of life to take part in health research.”
How to book an appointment
If you live elsewhere, you can still register to join the programme and we’ll be in touch when we have appointments available near you.
Our Future Health will grow rapidly over the coming months as we set about building a community of five million volunteers from across the UK. Volunteers joining now will be able to say that they were among the first of millions of people to sign up.