Skip to NavigationSkip to content

UK patients 'self-diagnose rather than visit GP'

Published on 31/07/15 at 11:42am
Doctor online
Healthcare providers may need to find ways to stay relevant to patients

One in five people in the UK admit to self-diagnosing illnesses rather than making a doctor's appointment.

Research published in the UK Digital Health Report reveals 21.8% of people choose to diagnose their symptoms online as they are unable to get a doctor's appointment or because their GP was not available quickly enough.

The report reveals the internet is now the first port of call for advice rather than medical professionals, particularly in age groups under 65. The data from 61 million UK internet searches for information 160 health issues reveal the trend for self-diagnoses is up by 19% over the last 12 months. Back pain, diarrhoea and depression where among the top ten most common health searches in the UK.

Dr Adam Simon, chief medical officer at – which ran the survey – says: “The findings indicate the extent to which people are now using technology to manage their health.

“As well as health searches being on the rise, 58% of people now actively use technology to manage their health and well-being on a daily basis.  22% use devices to monitor exercise and activity, 15% use tech to track their daily calorie intake and 12% to monitor sleep quality. People feel good about how technology is helping them to keep track of their health. 70% of people say that new technology helps them feel more in control or more aware of how to manage their health and well-being.”

However, Dr Simon warns about self-diagnosis becoming the norm, adding: “Healthcare providers need to find ways to stay relevant to patients who are getting used to 'always-on' services in other aspects of their lives.”

Yasmita Kumar


Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches