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Health Report: STADA Figure of the Month
29. November 2021.
Remote treatment, Dr. Google, digitisation: corona causes permanent change on our health behavior – STADA Health Report

  • Over half of the European population could imagine being treated by their doctor via webcam
  • 54 percent say they have turned to online sources significantly or somewhat more frequently to research health issues in the past year
  • Three in four Europeans would approve of digital medicine package leaflets

  • One of the major lessons of the last two years is the indisputable importance of advances in the medical field, not least of the digital variety. But how do Europeans feel about such developments? For instance, just over half of the European population (57 percent) could get on board with the idea of consulting their GP via webcam. But what is particularly interesting, this figure was at 70 percent in (early) 2020 – and thus higher prior to Covid. Today, digital consultations seem or to be a divisive topic among Europeans: One in four think them a marvellous development – also in terms of saving time. The Portuguese are particularly fond of getting virtual advice from their doctor (45 percent). While 25 percent Europeans share this opinion, just about as many (24 percent) value personal interaction with their doctor too much to give it up for the sake of technology. One in three (32 percent) are open to giving digital consultations a try, but have yet to take the plunge.

    Dr. Google increasing in popularity

    The pandemic has noticeably changed our way of procuring health information with digital content becoming even more relevant. More than one in two Europeans (54 percent) say they have turned to online sources significantly more frequently to research health issues (19 percent) or somewhat more often (35 percent) in the past year. Only about one in ten Europeans (11 percent) do not look up health-related matters on the internet – in France, this goes for one in five people (21 percent). The internet is also used by 36 percent of Europeans for information on taking medicines, their interactions and side effects, with Russia (62 percent) and Ukraine (58 percent) taking the lead for such search requests. Interestingly, a total of 45 percent of people living in urban areas say they turn to the internet, compared to only 32 percent from rural areas.

    Lost in digitisation?

    Three in four Europeans (76 percent) would approve of digital medicine package leaflets – not least because they would be more practical and create less waste (32 percent). In Portugal, almost half of the population (48 percent) would subscribe to this greater practicality, compared to only 19 percent in France. Still, 40 percent of Europeans would not want to do away with the paper version completely. Speaking of analogue media: Health apps are not particularly popular in Europe. Only 7 percent say they use a variety of health apps – the younger generation of 18 to 34-year-olds is a little more open-minded. Overall, 30 percent of Europeans do not consider health apps to be useful.

    These are the results of the third international STADA Health Report 2021, a representative study with more than 30,000 respondents from 15 countries. On behalf of STADA Arzneimittel AG, the market research institute Kantar surveyed around 2,000 people each between the ages of 18 and 99 from: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom on the topic of "How has the pandemic changed Europeans’ views on health?".