1 in 3 would rather use a health gadget than doctor. NHS could save £36 billion?

Health, Poll


Over a third of Brits (35 per cent) would rather turn to health gadgets, like Withings Smart Body Analyser pictured right, instead of visiting the doctor, according to new research published today.

The survey conducted by independent shopping price comparison engine, PriceSpy.co.uk, was designed to measure how gadgets such as pedometers, BMI calculators and heart rate monitors are improving the nation’s health.

The NHS currently spends around £103bn a year on health services. However these gadgets could soon be saving it an estimated £36bn pounds each year as one in three health gadget users now make fewer visits to their doctor.

The top 10 UK cities most likely to use a gadget rather than visit the doctor are:

1. Belfast – 60%

2. London – 40%

3. Birmingham 40%

4. Norwich – 39%

5. Southampton – 37%

6. Glasgow – 37%

7. Newcastle – 37%

8. Edinburgh – 36%

9. Manchester – 33%

10. Liverpool – 32%

It’s not all good news though; people are now more likely to wrongly diagnose themselves. 21% of people in Edinburgh are using gadgets to find out what illness they are suffering from compared to 20% in Belfast and 16% in Norwich.

The following league table shows which health problems people are using gadgets to help diagnose or provide peace of mind:

1. Fitness – 70%
2. Weight loss – 56%
3. General health – 55%
4. Heart condition – 31%
5. Improved joints – 27%
6. Strength training – 25%
7. Insomnia – 13%
8. Cosmetic appearance – 13%
9. Illness – 12%

Erik Lorentz, Head of Communications, at PriceSpy.co.uk said: “It’s surprising to see that so many people are using health gadgets to improve their fitness and wellbeing, but also to avoid a trip to the doctor. The findings could have major implications for NHS spend and waiting times, particularly if the technology behind health gadgets continues to evolve!”

Apparently nearly 50% of us own at least two or more health gadgets with 47% owning a pedometer, 44% a Wii Fit and 24% relying on a heart rate monitor (I wonder just how often they are actually used though rather than just left gathering dust).

Surprisingly the biggest spenders are people in Glasgow with over a third of respondents (35%) claiming to have spent over £100 on health gadgets. London, Manchester and Edinburgh come second with being the most flush with their cash, with a fifth of people spending over £100.

The online survey of 1,008 people was carried out on behalf of PriceSpy.co.uk

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