62% of patients use technology to access primary healthcare

Ordering repeat prescriptions, speaking to GPs online, and attending video appointments are the most-popular ways patients are using technology

An overwhelming number of UK patients are using technology to access GP appointments and medication, according to new research into patient behaviours and the healthcare ecosystem.

62% of Britons have used technology to access healthcare, according to a study of 1,014 British adults carried out by on-demand video GP consultation service, PushDoctor.co.uk.

According to the data, ordering repeat prescriptions (29%) is currently the most-popular way Britons are using technology to access healthcare services.

This report shows just how much technology is altering patient behaviours, and how widely this is now being accepted by those seeking to access primary care in a way more syncopated with people’s lives

More than one in five - 22% - have communicated with a GP online – for example, via live chat; while one in seven - 17% have already used video consultation services to speak to a GP.

Those aged 18-24 and 35-44 are driving adoption of these technologies.

Convenience is leading this step change, with almost one in three (30%) claiming they would consult a GP via video if it meant they could have an appointment when and where they wanted.

Meanwhile, 27% would do so if it meant they could have an immediate or same-day appointment, and one in four - 26% - if they couldn’t travel to their GP surgery.

Eren Ozagir, chief executive and founder at PushDoctor.co.uk, said: “This report shows just how much technology is altering patient behaviours, and how widely this is now being accepted by those seeking to access primary care in a way more syncopated with people’s lives.

Clearly there is significant demand among patients for new pathways to healthcare that work better for them, and are more in keeping with the ways they manage other areas of their lives

“This research also shows that the vast majority of all patients appreciate the need for innovations that make it quicker and more convenient to get expert medical advice. Ultimately, this comes down providing greater patient choice - enabling them to have more control over how and when they access their healthcare - which is something I’m sure most health professionals strive to offer their patients.”

Dr Adam Simon, chief medical officer at PushDoctor.co.uk, added: “Clearly there is significant demand among patients for new pathways to healthcare that work better for them, and are more in keeping with the ways they manage other areas of their lives. Such technologies are being gradually introduced into the healthcare industry the UK, but - looking at this data - there is a need to speed up this process.

“In introducing this greater level of convenience and choice, UK health providers will be better equipped to reach and help a greater number of patients, while bringing access to healthcare more in line with the ways other industries and services have modernised over the past five to 10 years.”

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