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Half of Brits willing to use healthcare technology

Research reveals concerns remain about some developments

Half of British adults are willing to use healthcare-related technology but they still have serious questions about some developments, a study reveals.

The STADA Health Report 2019, which surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK and a further 16,000 respondents from eight other European countries, found UK adults are divided about whether they would be happy to be treated by a doctor via a webcam for a minor illness. Half (49%) said they would try using the approach but the other half (51%) said it would feel weird or they would want personal interaction. 

Similarly, half of Brits would be willing to have a robot involved in surgery, if under supervision from a doctor, but 23% said they would never put their life in the hands of a machine.

Nearly eight in 10 would agree to have their genes tested to be informed about future risks to their health, but only 28% know what can actually be discovered by genetic testing. 

The survey also found UK adults are more aware of mental health issues than people in other countries, but many are still sceptical. Half said they been close to or experienced a burnout, but while 52% of those 50 and over said they have never felt close, only a third of 18-34s said it has never been a problem for them.

Four in 10 said the rise in burnouts is very alarming but one in six said it is a fad or hyped up. 

Roger Scarlett-Smith, executive vice president of Thornton & Ross, said that 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,” he added.