About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

New research* from Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, shows that 95 per cent of GPs saw more people bringing their own health data to consultations in the last year. Yet, while nine out of ten GPs find this data useful**, only 16 per cent of people with on-going health issues are choosing to actively share this information - generated by wearables, apps or from peer support groups - with their doctor***. The findings were revealed at Nesta’s conference on The Future of People Powered Health today.


Technologies like smartphones can help people to track and manage their own health conditions, generating valuable clinical data. But this new research shows that most people – 54 per cent – believe there is no benefit in sharing this information and that it will be ignored by their doctor (16 per cent), while privacy is a concern for 1 in 6 patients.


The study found that more than half (55 per cent) of the British public said they were managing on-going health concerns, such as mobility (eg. arthritis) or mental health issues, but only 15 per cent (7.9 million) are using health apps, fitness trackers or wearable devices to help track and monitor their health. There is therefore an opportunity for people to better understand how technology can help them play an active role in their own, personalised healthcare.


Halima Khan, executive director of the Health Lab at Nesta said: “GPs clearly understand the role patient-generated health data can play in improving the quality of care they deliver. That information can be an effective way to close the loop between people’s everyday experiences and the provision of professional healthcare. We need to do more to mobilise communities and encourage individuals to use and build their trust in healthcare innovation day-to-day; especially those managing long-term health conditions.”


It was also announced at the event that Nesta and NHS England - in partnership with the New Economics Foundation and the Royal Society of Arts - will work together on a new, three year programme ‘Health as a Social Movement’ to support social movements in health and care. 


Nesta’s research also found that though social initiatives like peer-to-peer support groups are very helpful to those that use them (just over 50 per cent), only 22 per cent of people managing an on-going health issue are choosing to do so. “For many more people to benefit from peer-to-peer support groups, further work is needed to ensure greater availability and access to these networks,” Halima Khan also commented. 




*The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 200 GPs in GB between 16th - 21st December 2015. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.  


**Of those GPs who agree that in the past 12 months they have seen an increase in people bringing their own self-generated health data with them to consultation, 9 in 10 said they found this information useful


*** The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,001 respondents aged 16+ in GB between 16th - 21st December 2015.


For more information, contact:


Kasia Murphy, Press Officer at Nesta, the innovation foundation 

[email protected] / 020 7438 2610