This site is intended for health professionals only

Telehealth: Most patients never heard of it

16 August 2013

Share this article

Nine in ten adults in the UK have never heard of ‘telehealth’ despite a national awareness campaign, a wide-reaching survey has uncovered. 

The Department of Health’s 3millionlives campaign aimed to create the “right environment” to support the uptake of telehealth services, promoting the benefits to patients. 

But research conducted by YouGov for the National Telehealth Forum has revealed a minimal shift in public awareness. 

Only 8% of people aged over 55 – who are more likely to be living with a long-term condition – knew what telehealth is. 

Of the 2,066 UK adults surveyed, 10% said they had heard of telehealth, but only 4% said they know what it is. 

Telehealth refers to services which monitor a patient’s physiological health status and health conditions. The 3millionlives campaign website claims that it can “significantly improve an individual’s health and quality of life”. 

Simon O’Neill, director of health intelligence at Diabetes UK, said: “This research indicates there is still a long way to go in helping understand telehealth and its benefits. 

“We know of people who refer to a telehealth service as ‘their guardian angel’ and yet awareness of its benefits is still very low.” 

Carl Atkey, head of Appello Telehealth, a founding member of the Forum said: “The Forum has spent time with its ear to the ground and is now working closely with health professionals and patients to prepare information that says something meaningful. 

“While we completely support the 3millionlives campaign’s aims we believe a more granular approach will help make them a reality.”