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  • Emma Morriss

Generation Z want Digital solutions to Revolutionise the NHS

An overwhelming majority of 16 to 24 year olds – 82% – want to see digital solutions to revolutionise the NHS. Generation Z expect a ‘technology revolution’ in order to better manage their health and improve care, according to research released by Roche Products Ltd.

The research gives a unique insight into the different attitudes to healthcare between generations highlighting how Generation Z (16-24 year olds) firmly supports the Government’s ambitions to create a technology revolution in the NHS.

Generation Z’s disruptive behaviour, especially when embracing technology, has transformed the way we use every-day services and the research shows they expect healthcare to follow suit.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of young people would be comfortable with a chatbot giving them a diagnosis when they are ill, compared to just over one in three (38%) for those over 55. Over half of those surveyed in the Generation Z age bracket (56%) would also rather receive advice from their GP or clinical pharmacist via an app or website than face-to-face (44%). Nearly two thirds (63%) would be comfortable to have a chatbot communicate a diagnosis.

The research also shows an overwhelming demand for personalised healthcare. More than eight in ten (82%) would be comfortable with the NHS genetically profiling tumours to allow more accurate clinical decision making. Almost three quarters (73%) are happy to test and share their genetic data to identify the risk of developing certain diseases and offering treatment that is personalised to your specific genetic make-up.

Young people are also concerned about the future of health provision, with over a third (34%) of those aged 16-24 thinking the NHS is currently not well prepared to meet the future needs of the nation.

Dr Rav Seeruthun, Medical Director at Roche Products Limited said: “These are exciting times. Public demand for change, combined with breakthroughs in technology has the potential to take us into a new era in healthcare. The public are increasingly used to and expect bespoke services which has huge implications for personalised medicine. The challenge has been set, and we, along with government and the industry need to respond. I’m passionate about making this a reality and Roche plan to be a central part of it.”

Rachel Power, Chief Executive Officer at The Patients Association has said: “Generation Z will drag the NHS into a digital era whether it’s ready or not, so it should get used to the idea, and brace itself for a period of technological disruption, driven by patients. This will be demanding, when it is still trying to adjust to a change of demographics involving people living longer but not healthier, with multiple long-term conditions. That shift was foreseeable long in advance, and the NHS – and particularly the political leaders of the day – failed to lay the groundwork to transform the NHS in good time. We must do better with the next big foreseeable challenge.”

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