Does the future of UK healthcare lie at home?

New research reveals potential of in-home care technology to alleviate pressure on national healthcare, as 64 percent of people voice concern over level of GP care available in older age.

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With the future of the UK’s healthcare system never far from the top of the agenda, new research by Arqiva and YouGov reveals that over 70 percent of British adults believe using technologies in the home to monitor health would take the pressure off patients and the NHS (72 percent) and enable local GPs to prioritise patient treatment (71 percent).

With pressures on GP surgeries expected to rise in response to the UK’s aging population, the findings confirm the feasibility of ‘DIY’ healthcare as 91 percent of people say they would be prepared to monitor basic vitals from a given list – such as blood pressure (72 percent), heart rate (65 percent) and weight (88 percent) – at home. This could be achieved via Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices.

The knock on effect of self-managing even these basic checks could increase both appointment availability and the time GPs could spend with patients in need of more complex care.

When people were asked to think about the care of elderly relatives – both now and in the future – the findings revealed that many of the key worries could also be eased by the introduction of in-home care technologies. Almost three quarters (72 percent) of respondents agreed that the presence of monitoring technology in their relative’s home would give them greater peace of mind and 70 percent said it would allow their relative to live independently for longer.

“All too often when we talk about the Internet of Things we focus on grand visions of tomorrow and overlook the more immediate impact such technologies could have on our lives today. Particularly when the connected-devices and IoT network to bring this all to life, is available now. Concerns over access to quality healthcare are only going to grow in the coming years and the great thing about in-home care solutions, afforded by IoT, is their potential impact not just on individual patients and the quality of care they receive, but on the lives of their family members and the future of the country’s healthcare system as a whole.”

Notes to Editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,070 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th and 11th May 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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