People living with one or more chronic conditions are looking for alternative ways, other than traditional care, to help support their health.
The large number of people living with a long term condition is increasing year on year – 25 million(1) in the UK and 133 million(2) in the USA. Presently, this growing population are visiting primary care for support with managing their condition, as a result of them struggling to navigate or access social care.
HealthUnlocked’s annual user survey examines the behaviour of patients who have participated in an online health community with the goal of improving their quality of life while living with a chronic health condition. This year we surveyed nearly 7,000 people where 84% are over 50 years old and 89% of the population have at least one ongoing health condition.
Our findings from this survey suggest that an increasing number of people are looking for information elsewhere, and expect to be signposted to this information by their primary care physicians. 81% of people reported that they would like to receive recommendations for local services and resources that could help them manage their health.
Survey respondents also noted that they would like to be pointed to digital resources as social care support: 71% of people were interested in learning about online educational programs that provided guidance and information around specific conditions. 71% of people were also interested in taking part in surveys for insights into specific health conditions, rare conditions and connected conditions.
It’s important to acknowledge the power of patient insight and peer support via an online health community in contributing to improved social care. 50% of users report that they had not met someone with the same health condition as them prior to joining HealthUnlocked. 82% of people feel more confident in managing their health after joining HealthUnlocked.
We noticed that there was a 41% increase in people staying away from the doctor₃ after joining an online support community on HealthUnlocked. Furthermore, 48% of people reported that they have improved interactions with healthcare professionals since joining HealthUnlocked.
Jorge Armanet, CEO and Co-Founder of HealthUnlocked said: “In a world where healthcare is becoming increasingly more patient-centric and value-based, this survey provides first-hand confirmation that a self-care ecosystem like HealthUnlocked can’t be ignored by any healthcare system looking to become more personalised, preventative and affordable.”
89% of the population surveyed have at least one ongoing health condition
82% of people feel more confident in managing their health
32% visit HealthUnlocked before visiting their doctor
41% increase in people staying away from the doctor because of the use of HealthUnlocked
86% of people found that HealthUnlocked us a safe place to share their experiences
81% expect to stay on HealthUnlocked for a long time
48% have improved interactions with healthcare professionals since joining HealthUnlocked
Over 50% of people had never met someone else with the same health condition as themselves before coming to HealthUnlocked.