GPs back web health tools

New research has revealed overwhelming support among GPs for online tools that help patients manage their health.

Seventy-five per cent of family doctors and health professionals, questioned in an annual survey by GP-authored website Patient, were in favour of mobile apps to help patients manage chronic conditions.

The online poll of 1,400[1] health professionals also found that 73% back online repeat prescription services, while almost three in five (59%) were in favour of web-based symptom checkers for patients. The research comes as the Department of Health moves forward with plans to give all patients online access to their GP by 2015.

Patient also surveyed over 7,000 patients. One in five patients felt they currently had little or no control over their health, making web-based management tools a popular development.

Eighty-four per cent of patients surveyed were in favour of mobile health management apps, while 89% want to use online symptom checker services. Ninety-one per cent of patients would like to use online repeat prescription services.


Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical consultant at Patient, and a GP in Shepherds Bush, London, said: "This research shows a shared vision among GPs and their patients for self-management of health online. Patients want more control, GPs want to help them achieve it, and responsibly-developed web-based health management tools are seen as the way forward."

Dr Jarvis cited the recently launched Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) app from Patient as an example of the type of tools that patients were looking for. "It helps patients track their symptoms, map them against treatments and view the results. As well as helping the patient understand their condition, it also provides valuable information for their GP during a consultation - a win/win."

[1] 1470 responses were recorded in total

Release date 11 October 2012