This site is intended for health professionals only

UK patients still in the dark about telehealth

30 July 2012

Share this article

The “vast majority” of people in the UK have never heard of telehealth or telecare, research claims.

This is despite the government launching its telehealth focused ‘Three Million Lives Campaign’ in January this year.

A survey of more than 2,000 UK adults carried out by YouGov and commissioned by the Telehealth Forum found 91% had never heard of telehealth or telecare.

Furthermore, of those adults aged 55 and over, who are deemed most at risk of contracting a long term condition, 93% had never heard of nor had they had access to telehealth or telecare equipment. 

Less than one in 10 (9%) of those polled said they had heard of telehealth, but only 5% said they knew what it was.

Only 4% of people reported that they knew what telecare was.

“[Health Minister] Paul Burstow MP recently announced that telehealth and telecare could save the NHS £1.2bn over five years, but this will be very difficult to implement if the public don’t even know what it is,” said Patricia Wilkie, President of the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP).

“Our research shows that we still have some way to go in letting people know what telehealth and telecare are, and how these new technologies can improve their lives.”