The majority of Britons are not actively managing their health and 1 in 5 have no desire to

However, Philips’ Picture of Health Report

reveals the potential power of personalised health data to encourage action

Royal Philips has launched its Philips Picture of Health Report examining the UK’s attitudes and behaviours towards their health.

The report shows that people know prevention is better than cure, with a sizeable 76% of adults believing good habits lead to better health

And the findings show a clear gap between what Britons know they should be doing to prevent illness, and what they are doing to actively manage their health.

However, the report, which surveyed over 2,000 members of the British public and 400 healthcare professionals (HCPs), also shows the potential for data and technology to help people break free from this inertia and take increased responsibility. This, in turn, would help remove unnecessary pressure on the NHS.

Key findings from the document include:

  • 76% of British adults believe that establishing good habits is key to preventing poor health in the future, but less than half (45%) say they actively manage their health
  • 80% agree that, despite the continued focus on health, wellness. and nutrition we are becoming less healthy as a nation
  • 66% of those who do not actively manage their own health believe they would benefit from doing so
  • 87% of those asked agree that individuals should take responsibility for their health
  • 88% of those using technology to track and manage their health say this has led to a positive change of habit

Like most developed nations, the UK is faced with an ageing population. On in six people are aged over 65, which is set to rise to one in four by 2050. At the same time, there is a rise in chronic and lifestyle-related diseases. Against this backdrop, prevention has a major role to play in ensuring people stay healthy for as long as possible.

The Hippocratic Oath states HCPs should ‘prevent diseases whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure’. Indeed, this model is critical to reducing unnecessary burdens on the NHS, and the Picture of Health Report highlights the benefits of empowering people to monitor and manage their own health through the use of technology.

“The report shows that people know prevention is better than cure, with a sizeable 76% of adults believing good habits lead to better health,” said Sean Hughes of Philips.

“There is, however, a gap between patients and HCPs, with just 19% of HCPs believing patients have the ability to manage their health effectively.

“At Philips, we see data and digital innovation as the means to transform healthcare and we want to welcome in the era of connected care and a healthier nation.”

He added: “The report found that two thirds (66%) of those people not actively managing their health believe that they would benefit from doing so. This is where companies like Philips can empower and enable people to take an active role in their own health.”

At Philips, we see data and digital innovation as the means to transform healthcare and we want to welcome in the era of connected care and a healthier nation

HCPs share this optimism, with 75% of those asked believing that improving the connection between patient data and treatment would lead to better patient outcomes, cost savings (43%) and reduced administration time (33%). It appears that HCPs are keen to see the change, with over half (54%) wanting technology companies to create solutions that allow primary and secondary professionals to be better connected.

The report reveals some encouraging signs that as a nation we are moving towards a healthier path. When interviewing HCPs, almost a third (29%) report that half of their patients come to appointments wanting to take control their health, and one in 10 people say they are actively tracking and managing their health with a connected device, for example wearable technology, smartphone or app. Of those using a connected device to track and manage their health, a staggering 88% say it has led to a positive change of habit. Interestingly, HCPs believe 55% of patients who share health data are more motivated to adhere to their treatments, showing that the right information being made available can help patients with the management of their health.

Click here for the full report.

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