Channel 4 orders more Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic

Channel 4 has commissioned a second series of Embarrassing Bodies: Live From the Clinic, the fully interactive series which allows viewers to see a doctor “out of hours”, obtaining medical advice and learn more about their condition, without leaving their own homes.

Dr Christian Jessen and Dr Dawn Harper will be joined by a team of GPs and specialists to provide live consultations to as many viewers as possible via Skype, in a purpose-built state of the art studio. The studio will be in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, the largest critical care unit in Europe and the UKs largest single site hospital.

Made by Maverick Television, the show will also feature cutting edge operations, treatments, medical trials and live biopsies, to increase the audience’s understanding of embarrassing conditions and ensure viewers can learn more about the latest treatments available. The team will also be exploring the truth behind the health headlines and de-bunk medical scares.

There are also ambitions to expand Embarrassing Bodies’ well known expertise in teaching the nation how to self-check their bodies, and the audience at home will be encouraged to join in with the long established success of testicle and breast checks, live via Skype.

The programme will again have a strong multi-platform presence and build on the huge success of the Embarrassing Bodies website which has surpassed twelve million visitors to date.

More than 450,000 people have already registered with My HealthChecker, which enables users to take a variety of medical checks, get advice on how to improve their health and compare their results anonymously with other users.

For this new series, users will also be able to download for free the My HealthChecker application on their iPhones, utilising particular functions of the iPhone such as its audio capabilities and touch sensitivity to carry out self-tests. New tests available range from eye and colour blindness tests to memory and lung function tests, and users can seamlessly move between the phone app and the website to track their results over time, and even share them with their GP.

Other new features include an expanded My VideoDoctor, a groundbreaking video symptom checker through which users can interact with the Embarrassing Bodies doctors as if face to face, responding to their questions to get guidance on the best next step for their symptoms.

The production team is again working closely with the Department of Health in order to provide innovative ways for patients to engage with their services as well as saving the NHS money. The first series resulted in savings for the NHS of £400,000, roughly the equivalent of four fully equipped ambulances or 19 nurses’ starting salaries.

Embarrassing Bodies: Live From the Clinic was commissioned by Channel 4 Features Commissioning Editor Kate Teckman, and will be executive produced by Sarah Eglin. The series will air in May.

Kate Teckman said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the series is back. We’ve had a fantastic response from viewers last year and there’s clearly a huge demand for the doctors’ no-nonsense advice available in the programme and on the website. I believe that this series will be even more compelling to viewers by being more innovative and interactive.”

Adam Gee, Channel 4 Multiplatform Commissioning Editor, said: “New technology offers huge potential to healthcare in general and our NHS in particular to improve and personalise the patient experience; enable self-monitoring and therefore earlier diagnosis; and prevent waste and delay. The interactive aspects and new apps for Embarrassing Bodies Live From the Clinic are real pathfinders – demonstrating on a mainstream scale how people will engage with their own health and take a preventive approach given easy and fun to use tools.”

Channel 4 has also commissioned My MoleChecker, an iPhone application which offers users a chance to photograph and track their moles over time, share with GPs, and receive reminders for regular check-ups. The app shows what to look out for and provides an extensive set of photos with which to compare your own moles so you can spot if anything concerning may be going on. It will be followed by My SelfChecker which offers viewers a set of self-checks – for breasts, vulva, testicles, etc. – to help them practise a preventive approach to various forms of cancer and other conditions by picking up any signs or symptoms early on.