Technological treatment

September 22, 2010, 12:27 AM GMT+0

The UK public expects technology to transform the way it accesses vital healthcare services by 2020, according to an online poll conducted in conjunction with Virgin Media Business.

  • 77% of the population say they would like to be able to book an appointment via multiple communications channels
  • 43% of the public identify telephones calls as the communication of choice for remote healthcare access
  • 34% say they would prefer to get in touch online
  • 29% believe they will be able to access their GP via webcam in ten years time
  • 11% predict that they will be able to interact with a doctor at the push of the interactive red button on their TV remote.

Young people seem particularly keen to access healthcare information over the internet, with 48% of 18-24 year olds and 47% of 25-34 year olds opting for the click of a mouse. Older respondents, on the other hand, prefer to pick up the phone, an option chosen by 53% of people over the age of 55.

Commenting on the research, Virgin Media Business’s public sector director, Lee Hull, said: ‘It’s no surprise that today’s time-strapped people have welcomed multichannel customer service with open arms. Some companies in the private sector have long realised that it can make its services feel more tailored and personal by enabling customers to get in touch when and how they want.’

He added, ‘The NHS has already made huge progress, and developments in technology mean there are now more ways than ever for people to get the medical advice they need.’