More patients than ever before are going online to find health information and self-diagnose, according to new reports. The NHS website received over a 100 million visits in the last year, while a separate study from Imperial College found a third of those logging onto www.nhs.uk avoided booking a GP appointment afterwards.
There was a 10 per cent increase in the number of visits to the NHS website in 2010 compared to 2009, taking the number of times people logged on to the site to well over 100 million.
Imperial College research found 70 % of patients use the internet to search for health information, with a third deciding not to visit their GP afterwards as they were able to find the information they were looking for.
The results are interesting for health and health cash insurers, particularly those who still insist on only using a web presence for information. Health customers want instant answers, and the same logic applies to health insurance. If they cannot buy online they will go to a competitor.