Patients in Wales increasingly using digital technology to support health

  • Public Health Wales
  • 29 May 2019

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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A new report indicates that people are increasingly using digital technology in Wales to support their health. The report 'Population Health in a Digital Age' was jointly issued by the Public Health Wales (PHW) and Bangor University.

The findings showed that 66 per cent of Welsh individuals use digital technology to support their health through various actions, including searching for information on general health or health services, management of chronic health conditions and medicines. More than one in three individuals are utilising digital technology to assess health measures such as step count, fitness levels and food intake. Thirty-four per cent of individuals use digital technology for self-diagnosis of health conditions. In contrast, only 14 per cent of individuals book a healthcare appointment online.

Thirty-nine per cent of women use digital technology to monitor their health compared with 20 per cent of men. Ten per cent of individuals sought emotional support online. Sixteen per cent use digital technology to manage a long-term health condition. The use of digital technology is substantially greater among individuals in the least deprived group compared with those in the most deprived group (84 vs 51 per cent).

Dr Alisha Davies, who heads PHW's Research and Development unit, said: "It is great to see people in Wales are embracing the potential of technology to support their health, and although more common in the younger age groups, older populations are active online too. We need to capitalise on this interest, to engage users in the development of digital health technology and to understand what works to improve health and wellbeing."