Nesta's Health Lab announces new survey findings to coincide with The Future of People Powered Health 2017 event
Public want greater control of their health but lack confidence, skills and knowledge
Nesta’s Health Lab research shows more must be done to promote ‘people-powered’ and-data driven approaches to health
Nearly two-thirds of the British public (64 per cent)1 want to take greater control of their health but almost a quarter (23 per cent) are not confident that they can help prevent or reduce problems associated with their health, shows a new survey from Nesta’s Health Lab.
Launched to coincide with The Future of People Powered Health 2017 event, the findings point to the opportunities that people-powered and data-driven approaches - such as peer support groups, digital technologies and group activities - can offer, in particular, for the 15 million people in the UK living with a long term health condition.
Despite the survey showing people have a desire to be more involved in managing their health, less than half (47 per cent) have taken any action to do so in the last year. And, just under one in five (18 per cent) were very confident in their own ability to improve their health. When it comes to new digital technologies, just under a quarter of people (24 per cent) say they use health apps, fitness trackers or other wearables to track their health. Compared to Nesta’s survey of GPs, it shows a missed opportunity: 64 per cent of GPs surveyed said that this data provides useful insights for consultations.2
The GPs surveyed reported high levels of social prescribing - linking their patients with sources of support in the community such as peer support, group activities and health coaching. When asked which they recommend to patients, group activities and self-management education topped the list, followed by peer support. GPs cited patient confidence or willingness among the main reasons preventing them from recommending these more frequently.
A lack of familiarity of what’s available in their local area also came out consistently high when it comes to reasons why GPs do not recommend certain social prescribing routes to their patients. This was the case for connecting people to peer support (61 per cent), health coaching (61 per cent) and group-based activities (45 per cent).
With almost two-thirds of people (64 per cent) saying they want more support and knowledge to better look after their health, this suggests that well-designed and supported social prescribing schemes could enable many more people to get on top of their health.
In response to the findings and six years of work by Nesta exploring the potential of data-driven and people-powered health, Nesta’s Health Lab is calling for:
Halima Khan, executive director of Nesta’s Health Lab, commented: “Helping people to better help themselves is important to making the health system more sustainable. With one in every two households home to someone with a long term health condition, solutions that support people to get on top of their health should not be ignored. These approaches are often under-funded, patchy and fragmented. They’re also sometimes under-used simply because doctors and people who would benefit aren’t aware of them. The system must do more to ensure those that want access to support can get it.”
Nesta’s Health Lab, in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, have today convened over 400 commissioners, health providers and practitioners, charities and patients to explore how great people-powered and data-driven solutions can be sustained and scaled. More about The Future of People Powered Health 2017 is available here.
For more information about Nesta Health Lab and our People Powered Health work please visit www.nesta.org.uk.
For more information contact Kasia Murphy in Nesta’s press office on 020 7438 2610/2543, [email protected]
Notes to editors:
About Nesta’s work in health:
Nesta set up Health Lab to act as a centre of expertise on people-powered and data-driven health. We look for better ways for people to remain healthy - drawing on their own energy and ideas, as well as the insights of medical science and new digital tools.
Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, making use of our knowledge, networks, funding and skills. We work in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. To find out more visit www.nesta.org.uk. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833.