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Health-obsessed Brits drain UK businesses by a staggering £1.1bn


Study reveals London, Cardiff and Norwich as the most health-obsessed cities in the UK

Over half (58%) of health-obsessed Brits cover up symptoms from their doctors, confusing health professionals and take more sick days than the rest of the population (28%) – with health-obsessed Brits twice as likely to take sick days, resulting in additional days off and lost productivity for UK businesses. According to the research study commissioned by Clarity Informatics, consumers who spend over an hour researching their illnesses online took more sick leave than the rest of the population in 2015, costing UK businesses £1.1 billion.

“With all the information available online, it’s easy to see why over a quarter of us consider ourselves health-obsessed, spending an hour or more researching illnesses online,” says Dr Gerry Morrow, medical director at Clarity Informatics. “But there is currently no trustworthy source of healthcare information online – even ‘reputable’ sources are often run by hobbyist enthusiasts. This means that people are frequently misinformed about their health and stay sicker for longer.”

UK consumers were more likely to cover up their symptoms when doctors were of the opposite sex (27%) or when they didn’t think symptoms were relevant (15%).

“When you’re depending on unreliable sources of information and hiding information from your doctor, it’s no wonder that having informed discussions with patients is getting harder. This inevitably results in people staying sicker for longer, dragging themselves into work through guilt and infecting their colleagues. This is a lose-lose situation for everyone,” continued Morrow.

Further findings revealed London as the most health-obsessed city in the UK, with nearly 44% of adults confessing to spending an hour or more researching their symptoms online. Cardiff and Norwich come in second (40.32%) and third (39.73%), respectively. The top 5 health obsessed UK cities are as follows:

  1. London (43.69%)
  2. Cardiff (40.32%)
  3. Norwich (39.73%)
  4. Edinburgh (38.30%)
  5. Birmingham (37.58)

“This is exactly why we are launching Prodigy Patient. Prodigy Patient is an app for everyone, based on the Clinical Knowledge Summaries, the website used by UK doctors, providing a resource to help people get better faster.”

Prodigy Patient was developed by Clarity Informatics, an accredited provider of information for NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) which provides guidance to doctors. Prodigy Patient has information on over 350 medical conditions, each with 1,000 sub-topics. The app will display seasonal ‘top ten’ conditions and help consumers to pinpoint their condition by body part, giving them fast access to the information they need – and helping them have informed discussions with doctors.

Prodigy Patient is free and available today to download on all major smartphone platforms, including IOS, Android and Windows Phone.