The majority of senior citizens in England want to use the Internet to interact with the NHS, a new survey has found.
According to the Accenture survey, 60% of senior citizens in England said that online access to their patient record is important, but only 8% were able to access it.
The researchers interviewed more than 9,000 people in nine countries, including 1,000 people in England, out of which 194 were over the age of 65.
Aimie Chapple, managing director for Accenture’s health business in the UK, told EHI the survey shows that the NHS needs to invest in technologies that both the older and younger generation want.
“Many senior citizens are using digital tools already such as internet banking, shopping and communication and would like to use [technology] to interact with their healthcare provider,” she said.
“There are systems out there and the capability to look at our health record exists, but many healthcare providers have been slow to implement that and don’t necessarily believe that it’s what patients want.”
Chapple said that the number of people using technology to access healthcare in England is “relatively low” compared to other countries.
The researchers found that in Singapore, 68% of senior citizens track one aspect of their health such as health indicators, symptoms, physical activity or information on health history. In England, only 27% do the same.
Chapple said this could be because other countries have already implemented electronic medical records across the board and routinely offer online services to patients.
“In Singapore for example, they have implemented records across the system and its more common to have a digital interaction with your health provider,” she said.
“More people are aware that it’s possible to access services online in other countries.”
She added that there are pockets of great use of technology from healthcare providers, but that over all “the NHS needs to look to the international examples."
The researchers also surveyed people in Spain, France, Canada, Germany, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and the US.