Research suggests Generation Z want more digital technology in NHS

People who are part of Generation Z (16 to 24-year-olds) want to see more digital technology in the NHS, more personalised healthcare and are concerned about the future of health provision, research from Roche Products has found.

The research found that 82% of those want to see digital solutions introduced to better manage their health and improve care.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of young people would be comfortable with a chatbot giving them a diagnosis when they are ill, compared to just over one in three (38%) for those over 55. Over half of those surveyed in the Generation Z age bracket (56%) would also rather receive advice from their GP or clinical pharmacist via an app or website than face-to-face (44%). Nearly two thirds (63%) would be comfortable to have a chatbot communicate a diagnosis.

Dr Rav Seeruthun, medical director at Roche Products said: “These are exciting times. Public demand for change, combined with breakthroughs in technology has the potential to take us into a new era in healthcare. The public are increasingly used to and expect bespoke services which has huge implications for personalised medicine. The challenge has been set, and we, along with government and the industry need to respond. I’m passionate about making this a reality and Roche plan to be a central part of it.”

The research also shows an overwhelming demand for personalised healthcare. More than eight in ten (82%) would be comfortable with the NHS genetically profiling tumours to allow more accurate clinical decision making. Almost three quarters (73%) are happy to test and share their genetic data to identify the risk of developing certain diseases and offering treatment that is personalised to your specific genetic make-up.

Over a third (34%) of those aged 16-24 think the NHS is currently not well prepared to meet the future needs of the nation.

Rachel Power, chief executive officer at The Patients Association has said: “Generation Z will drag the NHS into a digital era whether it’s ready or not, so it should get used to the idea, and brace itself for a period of technological disruption, driven by patients. This will be demanding, when it is still trying to adjust to a change of demographics involving people living longer but not healthier, with multiple long-term conditions. That shift was foreseeable long in advance, and the NHS – and particularly the political leaders of the day – failed to lay the groundwork to transform the NHS in good time. We must do better with the next big foreseeable challenge.”

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