Boots launches online health service in UK

Boots, the pharmacy and cosmetics retailer, is launching an online portal to provide ''objective, trustworthy and engaging'' health information for UK consumers. Boots has partnered with WebMD the world's largest provider of online health information to create the portal.

Customers will be able to access information on medicine, illnesses and health conditions, daily news and videos and interactive tools such as a symptom checker. Patients can also book in-store healthcare services.

The site also includes digital content from the British Medical Journal and the National Health Service.

Boots surveyed 1000 GPs and identified a gap in the market for an online resource that provides ''detailed and trustworthy advice and information'' as patients increasingly turning to the internet for health information.

Alex Gourlay, chief executive of Boots' health and beauty division says: ''More than 70 per cent of the UK population is online and the majority of adults online are seeking health information. BootsWebMD is leveraging the power of the internet to change health services online for UK consumers.''