While digital GP services were initially relied upon mainly by millenials, keen to avoid losing time from work to see their doctor, new appointment information from digital health provider Push Doctor shows that a patients as diverse in age as three days old and 104 have benefitted from the convenience and accessibility afforded by online appointments.
Young professionals were among the earliest adopters of digital health when it first became available and continue to represent a sizeable portion of patients, however the latest data shows that the technology is starting to benefit a wider variety of demographics.
Push Doctor GPs have consulted with 120 babies that were less than a month old, offering expert medical guidance and reassurance to new parents on a number of conditions including reflux, oral thrush and conjunctivitis.
For non-emergency cases, video consultations provide more physical reassurance than the NHS 111 enquiry line and also allow parents to seek medical guidance from familiar environment of their own home, a particular benefit in an infant’s early weeks when their immune systems are more vulnerable to airborne germs.
At the other end of the spectrum, Push Doctor has consulted with more than 500 customers aged over 80 – 156 of which were seen in 2018 – showing that digital health has become part of everyday life in the UK.
Dr Dan Bunstone, Chief Medical Officer of Push Doctor, explains:
“We’ve always been age agnostic in wanting to help as wide a group of patients as possible, but it’s one thing having this objective and another following through on it. Therefore it’s particularly pleasing to see that people at all stages of life are benefitting from the availability, accessibility and convenience of digital health.
“For new parents suddenly entrusted with the responsibility of looking after a baby, it can be a daunting period that no amount of preparation can fully ready you for. Often the issues they are coming to us are simply in need of advice, but with children, it can be easy to worry. Speaking to a medical expert from the comfort of their own home not only allays these fears, but removes the need to leave the house with the infant and the military preparation this can involve for the uninitiated.
“We are equally pleased that older patients are increasingly using digital health for their medical needs. They can struggle to leave the house for entirely different reasons, so having expert advice available at the click of a button can be a lifesaver. More mature individuals are more likely to have an established relationship with their local GP, but our proposition doesn’t require that they de-register from their practice – it’s about offering choice and variety.”