Zühlke’s Health Study 2023
The Rise of Digital Health Apps
Digital health applications are becoming increasingly significant in the UK. In the last six months, more than half of the population has turned to digital health apps for self-diagnosis and treatment, often opting for them over conventional GP appointments. The most used application, particularly among younger groups, is the NHS app, an electronic patient record. However, there are still reservations regarding the accuracy of measurements in digital health apps.
Despite this scepticism, the positive influence of the NHS Covid-19 app on public perceptions of digital health tools is acknowledged. Furthermore, 3 out of 10 respondents view doctor-prescribed apps as potential tools for weight loss and mental health management.
Health Monitoring Technologies and Data Sharing
The growing acceptance of health monitoring technologies and data sharing among UK citizens is becoming increasingly evident. More than 50 percent of the respondents express a willingness to connect their smartphones with devices such as smartwatches or virtual assistants such as Alexa to track their health. That applies especially to the younger generation and individuals with higher incomes. Additionally, the study highlights that nearly 80 percent of participants are open to sharing their health data under specific conditions, particularly emphasizing the importance of controlling data access. This willingness to share health-related information is positively correlated with higher income level: around 60 percent of individuals with high income indicated their readiness to sharing their health data if it leads to improvements in general healthcare.
Health Apps: Functions and the Willingness to Pay
Health apps emerge as versatile tools, addressing various needs such as disease identification and the submission of medical documents. When it comes to the willingness to pay for such services, though, there is a general reluctance. However, the NHS remains the preferred provider. Around 40 percent in the study say that they would be prepared to pay a substantial monthly fee for an app that has advanced features such as automatically sharing health data with doctors and offering personalized recommendations based on individual activities and mental health considerations.
The entire study is available as a free-of-charge download here.