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Four in 10 people 'willing to receive GP advice through apps'

Nearly four in 10 people would be willing to receive advice from a ‘virtual’ GP through an app, while six in ten would even be prepared to see a GP in a shop, a new study has found.

A survey, carried out by PwC, of 2,000 UK consumers, patients and clinicians has revealed that a trend is growing where 'IT-savvy consumers’ are willing to have their care delivered outside traditional GP practices. 

The study found that 38% of those surveyed would be willing to have a GP consultation through an app on their smartphones and tablets, 60% would be prepared to see a GP in a retail store during their shopping trips and 55% would even take a urine test in a shop.

At the same time, 80% of 18-34 year-olds said they would be happy to receive treatment in a high street store or pharmacy.

Alan Milburn, chair of the health industries oversight board at PwC, said: ‘The old relationship between patients and clinicians is giving way to a new one. New entrants from outside the traditional health sector are moving onto the pitch and disrupting the old rules of the game, often with ground-breaking ideas. This is a revolution that can only pick up speed in the years to come.’ 

The healthcare apps and wearables sectors are expected to be worth £460m and £375m respectively by 2020, compared to £100m and £125m in 2015, PwC predicts.

Readers' comments (11)

  • And no one involved knows what a GP actually does/is

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  • GPs are NOT A COMMERCIAL PRODUCT!!!

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  • My advice make an appointment to see a GP face to face this is not safe in the eyes of the medical indemnifiers.

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  • ah virtual consultations with new (presumably less qualified) providers

    unfortunately the lawsuits when the slightest thing goes wrong are unlikely to be virtual

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  • 60% would be prepared to see a GP in a retail store during their shopping trips...

    Fantastic news. Finally something we can do with all the surplus GPs who can't find enough work to keep them busy!

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  • The problem with apps is that they are like googling / Wikiing. They often result in more patient questions.

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  • Richard Jenkins

    Four out of ten people ...

    Would like a free weekly shop at Tesco
    Would like to win the lottery
    Would like ... shall I go on?

    Pointless study and why is this newsworthy?

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  • Please explain how an app examines a breast lump?
    This survey is meaningless tosh and Alan Milburn should be ashamed of himself, another one at the trough!

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  • Perhaps some reflection on Principle 4 of the NHS Constitution is needed?
    "The NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does. It should support individuals to promote and manage their own health"
    Seems the fact that those born after the 80's have grown up in a world where digital impacts on every area of life and those born since the mid 90's have never known a world without the internet causes no need for any reflection on what people will expect from THEIR health service.

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  • Seems an unusually stupid idea from Mr Milburn who is normally quite cogent.

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