Digital health reaches young and old – research suggests

Online appointments are helping patients from as young as three days old and as old as 104-years-old, according to data from digital health provider Push Doctor.

The findings suggest young professionals are among the earliest adopters of digital health when it first became available and continue to represent a sizeable portion of patients.

Push Doctor GPs have consulted with 120 babies that were less than a month old, offering expert medical guidance and reassurance to new parents on a number of conditions including reflux, oral thrush and conjunctivitis.

At the other end of the spectrum, Push Doctor has consulted with more than 500 customers aged over 80 – 156 of which were seen in 2018 – showing that digital health has become part of everyday life in the UK.

Dr Dan Bunstone, chief medical officer of Push Doctor, said: “We’ve always been age agnostic in wanting to help as wide a group of patients as possible, but it’s one thing having this objective and another following through on it. Therefore it’s particularly pleasing to see that people at all stages of life are benefitting from the availability, accessibility and convenience of digital health.

“For new parents suddenly entrusted with the responsibility of looking after a baby, it can be a daunting period that no amount of preparation can fully ready you for. Often the issues they are coming to us are simply in need of advice, but with children, it can be easy to worry. Speaking to a medical expert from the comfort of their own home not only allays these fears, but removes the need to leave the house with the infant and the military preparation this can involve for the uninitiated.

“We are equally pleased that older patients are increasingly using digital health for their medical needs. They can struggle to leave the house for entirely different reasons, so having expert advice available at the click of a button can be a lifesaver. More mature individuals are more likely to have an established relationship with their local GP, but our proposition doesn’t require that they de-register from their practice – it’s about offering choice and variety.”

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