Older people lack digital skills to access new health services (Article taken from Digital by Default News, 18 March 2014)
Older people are the biggest users of health and care services, with the average NHS spend for retired households nearly double that for non-retired households. But many lack the skills to take advantage of changes in the way healthcare is being delivered, warns Digital Unite, one of the UK’s main providers of digital skills learning. Technology is transforming the face of healthcare and bringing huge benefits to patients. Being able to book appointments online, order repeat prescriptions and improved access to online information and services can really advance patients’ health and well-being. Video calling your GP and personal health monitoring systems through mobile phone apps may be solutions for the future. However, many older people still aren’t online or don’t have the skills to use such services. New ONS figures (Q4, 2013) show that 6.7 million adults in the UK have never used the internet, with 5.8 million of them aged 55 and over.
ONS's Internet Access Quarterly Update, 2013 Q4 data tables include some regional breakdown overall. Some analysis by ethnicity, age group and gross weekly pay is provided at a UK level only.