Poll: Telemedicine Is Popular in Britain

November 29, 2012
70 Views

A group of young bloggers conducted a poll on live, real-time telemedicine visits in the U.K.  They found that more than half of those surveyed liked the idea, but there was a sizeable number of skeptics.

A group of young bloggers conducted a poll on live, real-time telemedicine visits in the U.K.  They found that more than half of those surveyed liked the idea, but there was a sizeable number of skeptics.

Sebastian Lahtinen, Andrew Ferguson and John Hunt are the team behind the Broadband Blog, and they decided to conduct a poll to see how their fellow countrymen feel about a proposed “telehealth initiative that aims to get 100,000 of us in UK talking to our doctor over broadband by 2013.”

They asked: Do you think the idea of video conferencing with a health professional is a good idea?  Of those responding, 56% said yes.  Three of ten people said no with 12% not knowing.  Two percent checked “none of the above.”  The blogging team says the high number of those who said no indicates that many Britons are wary.  They suggest that it would be good to know whether video conference consultations work better if the patient has previously met the person at the far end.

Have you ever contacted your GP (primary care provider) or other health professional using your Internet connection?  Only 16% had done so at least once, while 82% had not.  Even for routine things like making an appointment, the Brits still use the telephone rather than an online system.

If telemedicine leads to savings (both time and money) for the Health Service, should these savings be invested in more home visits for those who need them?  Nearly three-fourths (72%) said “yes.”

Have you ever used your Internet connection for a two-way webcam video call, using Skype, MSN, Yahoo, etc.?  The response by 25% that they have never done that was surprising to the bloggers.  They also noted that the low number of people who have tried to do home videoconferencing and failed (8%) will likely disappoint critics of the UK broadband infrastructure who complain it is too slow.

The bloggers conclude there “should be no problem with video conferencing as a way of interacting with health professionals starting in 2013″ because people in their country support the idea.

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