Future of Health report highlights public attitudes to digital consultations

More than half of people in the UK are optimistic about the future of health according to findings from the Stada Health Report 2019 – a study in attitudes to healthcare.

The report, unveiled during an event at Thornton & Ross in Huddersfield, suggests that 50% of people surveyed are willing to use technology in certain situations but 23% have serious questions about some developments.

It covers attitudes to conventional medicine, gene testing, robotics and advancements in digital health.

As part of the report, 2,000 people aged between 18 and 99 in the UK and a further 16,000 respondents from eight other European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Spain – shared their opinion on health-related matters of the future. The survey was conducted by Kantar Health.

Findings include:

  • 49% of UK residents would be happy to be treated via a doctor but 51% say it would feel weird or would want personal interaction.
  • Half of the population would be willing to have a robot involved in surgery under the supervision of a doctor but 23% say they would never put their life in the hands of a machine.
  • Nearly eight in ten would agree to have their genes tested to be informed about future risks to their health. Only 28% know what can actually be discovered by genetic testing.

Roger Scarlett-Smith, executive vice-president of Thornton & Ross, said: “The findings of this study demonstrate that we have every reason to feel optimistic regarding the future of health in the UK. Aside from occasional spells of apprehension towards more invasive and digital advancements in medicine, the British, alongside the rest of Europe, generally keep an open mind on health-related matters of the future. Health education and literacy in the UK – particularly among the younger generations – are key to addressing any remaining concerns so that we can look to the future of health with confidence.

“This, combined with the digital transformation enabled by real-time data measurement, means we are in a better position than ever to positively impact our health – rather than responding to illness, we believe the future is likely to revolve around sustaining wellbeing. The insight gathered through this report enables Thornton & Ross and the Stada Group to be at the forefront of understanding the consumer behaviour that will drive this health model.”

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