NHS Confed reveals results of survey on patient attitudes toward health tech

The NHS Confederation has announced findings from commissioned research undertaken by Ipsos on public attitudes toward health technologies.

One of the main findings from this research is that the majority of people “would use health technology if it meant they could avoid going into hospital”, with 72 percent responding that they would use technology including wearable and health monitoring devices in order to allow for their health to be managed or monitored, and that they “would also be willing to share the information and data gathered with their doctors and other medical professionals”.

“The survey of 1,037 members of the public, undertaken in partnership with Google Health, highlights people’s increasing appetite for using technology to self-manage their care, and more broadly, to take greater responsibility for their health and that of their families,” NHS Confederation states.

78 percent of people agreed that they would use health monitoring equipment if it was recommended to them by an NHS professional, rising to 89 percent of people in the 75+ age group.

The research also indicated that people with a long-term condition were more likely to be using the NHS App: “just over half (53 percent) of the 92 people included in the survey who have been diagnosed with a long-term condition resulting in them interacting with the health service four or more times a year, are already using the NHS App to access personal health information, compared with one third (33 percent) of the general population.”

In addition, findings revealed that 73 percent of patients wanted their doctors to provide them with the “best technology available”, whilst 58 percent were recorded as wishing “their doctor provided them with technology to monitor their health”.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, is quoted as saying: “This research shows the potential of technology in empowering patients to better manage and monitor their own health, especially if it means they can avoid being admitted to hospital. There is clearly an appetite amongst the public to use technology to self-manage their long-term conditions, and more broadly, to take greater responsibility for their health and that of their families.”

Taylor also pointed to the benefits of digital health technologies in helping to promote earlier intervention, better tailoring of treatment to patients, and overall improvements in health outcomes. “Ultimately, to help the NHS survive and thrive for years to come we must continue to change our model of healthcare so that we move from patients being passive recipients of care to one in which they are active participants in their own health and wellbeing. Empowering individuals to be able to make greater use of technology will help deliver the long term shifts we need to make.”