57 per cent of British are optimistic about the future of health and half of us are willing to use healthcare-related technology – but still have serious questions about some developments. These are among the key findings of the STADA Health Report 2019, a major study into attitudes to healthcare, both now and in the years to come.

As part of the report, 2,000 people aged between 18 and 99 in the UK and a further 16,000 respondents from eight other European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Spain – shared their opinion on health-related matters of the future.

The survey was conducted by market research institute Kantar Health on behalf of STADA Arzneimittel AG, the global healthcare leader which operates in 120 countries employing over 10,000 people.

The results were revealed at STADA’s UK arm Thornton & Ross in Yorkshire today. The company, part of the German-based STADA group, is one of the largest over the counter pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK and the firm behind big brands like Covonia®,Cetraben®  Hedrin® and Savlon®, Zoflora®.

Among the findings:

  • The UK is split down the middle on whether we would be happy to be treated by a doctor via a webcam for a minor illness. 49 per cent would try using the approach but the remaining 51 per cent say it would feel weird or would want personal interaction.
  • We are similarly divided over the use of robots in surgery. Half of us say we would be willing to have a robot involved in surgery, if under supervision from a doctor, but 23 per cent say they would never put their life in the hands of a machine.
  • Nearly eight in ten of us would agree to have our genes tested to be informed about future risks to our health. However, only 28 per cent of us know what can actually be discovered by genetic testing.
  • The UK is more aware of mental health issues – but many are still skeptical. Half of us say we have been close to or experienced a burnout (fatigue, lack of motivation and insomnia combined) but while 52 per cent of those 50 and over say they have never felt close, only a third of 18-34s say it’s never been a problem for them. 41 per cent of us say the rise in burnouts is very alarming but one in six of us say it’s a fad or hyped up.
  • Women are more likely to try and get themselves better themselves when they feel unwell. 36 per cent say they self-medicate with household remedies, such as honey and lemon, peppermint or a hot water bottle, with a minor illness as opposed to going to the chemist or doctors for medication. Only 23 per cent of men say the same.
  • Most of us are not planning on changing our status as organ donors when the law changes next year. From spring 2020, the UK will move to an opt-out system where anyone who does not want their organ and tissue donated will need to actively say so. 55% of those questioned in the UK say they would keep their status as donors because it is ‘good and sensible’.

Peter Goldschmidt, CEO STADA Arzneimittel AG, says: “This is STADA’s 5th annual Health Report and we are excited to share the results. The insights will help us to understand trends and perceptions much better to serve patients and healthcare professionals even stronger in the future. This will strengthen STADA’s position as a leading go-to partner in European Healthcare.”

Roger Scarlett-Smith, Executive Vice President of Thornton & Ross, adds: “The findings of this study demonstrate that we have every reason to feel optimistic regarding the future of health in the UK.  Aside from occasional spells of apprehension towards more invasive and digital advancements in medicine, the British, alongside the rest of Europe, generally keep an open mind on health-related matters of the future. Health education and literacy in the UK – particularly among the younger generations – are key to addressing any remaining concerns so that we can look to the future of health with confidence.

“This, combined with the digital transformation enabled by real-time data measurement, means we are in a better position than ever to positively impact our health – rather than responding to illness, we believe the future is likely to revolve around sustaining wellbeing. The insight gathered through this report enables Thornton & Ross and the STADA Group to be at the forefront of understanding the consumer behavior that will drive this health model.”