New data from leading health tech specialist, iPLATO Healthcare, has revealed that women are driving uptake and usage of smartphone apps to access health services in the UK. The company has analysed recent activity on myGP and found that women are responsible for 68% of all GP appointments booked on the app. myGP is currently the most downloaded medical app on Apple and it is also available on Google Store for patients whose GP surgery is enrolled with iPLATO.
Further research shows that 62% of myGP users with medication reminders are women. In addition to using the app to support their medication needs and to book appointments for themselves, women were also more likely to take advantage of core myGP functionality such as registering as carers for dependants – mostly children but also partners and elderly parents – which allows them to book GP appointments for them, too. Almost 9 in ten of the registered carers on myGP are women.
The research suggest that more women are working and finding themselves in a position where they provide at least some level of care or support to not only their immediate family, but also to an elderly parent or disabled relative. With fewer ‘stay at home’ mums, working women are now turning to myGP as a way of managing their families’ healthcare remotely – 52% of dependents added to the app are under the age of five.
Today, around 3.7 million UK women are carers and this is anticipated to rise to 5.2 million by 2037. It is also anticipated that there will be a rise in multi-generational caring also known as ‘sandwich carers’, with currently over 2.4 million people in the UK, caring for both young children and an older or disabled relative. Increases in life expectancy coupled with delays in starting a family mean that more women are finding themselves with dual demands on their time and energy – looking after both parents and children alike.
Recently, David Mowat, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Care and Support, made headlines with his comments that families should give as much support to elderly parents as they do to children. In response, Professor Alan Walker, Director of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme said; “Community care is a myth: care for older people is overwhelmingly self-care and family care. And the fact that carers are predominantly – by a ratio of two to one – adult daughters and daughters-in-law makes this a major case of gender discrimination.”
Lemarie Moses, Product Manager of myGP comments, “We are incredibly excited about the ability of myGP to really make a difference to the lives of families across the UK. Our recent data analysis shows an emerging trend of women harnessing tech to cope with and manage their busy day-to-day lives. As a working parent, I understand the difficulties of finding the time to manage the healthcare of your children, as well as staying on top of your own. The wonderful thing about myGP is that it makes manage your families care so simple and hassle free.”
The strength of myGP lies in its simplicity and ease of use, from the registration process through to accessing online patient services. Patients can register remotely with just their date of birth and the mobile number registered with their GP practice. In just a few seconds, they are then ready to go with secure functionality, appointment management, medication reminders and self-care tools.