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Men's Health Week 2011: Get A Man Online

Men's Health Week 2011 (13-19th June) will focus on how new technologies can be used to improve men's health.

computer man imagePlans for the week include:

  • A high-profile launch event to encourage men to get online.
  • An All Party Parliamentary Group on Men’s Health meeting to discuss the role of new technologies in improving men’s health.
  • A new iphone app using humour to raise men’s health awareness and, in partnership with NHS Choices
  • A new mini-manual to encourage men to get health info online
  • An e-card for people to send a health message to men they care about.
  • Posters
  • National/local PR/media activity
  • An expert symposium following up the week to develop policy and good practice.

Many men are reluctant users of traditional health services, such as GPs and pharmacies, and do not always respond to mainstream health awareness campaigns. However, most men care about their health and do respond to messages when the information is presented in formats that appeal to them. We know that men are enthusiastic users of wide range of new technologies – online systems, mobile phone applications, social networking, gaming, etc. We want to harness this interest in new technologies to develop health services, information and products that engage men so they take action to improve their health.

There is growing evidence that information and services provided through the internet and other technologies can be used to improve men's health outcomes. 37% of men used the internet for health information in 2009, up from 31% in 2008, according to National Statistics data. This is a promising base on which to build. Men's Health Forum's consumer website ( attracts over 1.5m unique visitors a year; for the 2010 World Cup, NHS Choices worked with MHF to develop male-specific tools and content using a football theme; and in partnership with MHF, BT developed a pioneering intranet-based lifestyle change programme for its staff that attracted over 16,000 users, most of whom were men. Many men who have not been physically active have been motivated by participative home video games such as Nintendo Wii.

During NMHW 2011, MHF aims to:

  • Promote the wide range of new technologies now available to improve men’s health
  • Develop new materials for men to use on the internet, their mobile phone, etc.
  • Encourage service providers to seize these new opportunities to reach men effectively
  • Encourage more men to access health information on the internet and mobile phones

We believe that new technologies can help to improve men’s health literacy and lifestyles as well as encourage better self-care and more appropriate use of services (leading to earlier diagnosis). At a time of financial restraint, investment in new technologies that improve health outcomes are an attractive and economical option for government as well as commercial organisations. Effective patient use of the internet can inform conversations with health professionals, improve patients’ confidence and help to put the patient at the centre of decision-making about their treatment.

MHF’s aim of maximizing the potential of new technologies to improve men’s health fits perfectly with the government’s intention to bring about ‘an NHS information revolution’.

We will also be highlighting the risks that are created by ill-informed use of the internet, for example by the online purchase of counterfeit drugs.

If you would like to be involved in the week, please contact Kristin McCarthy -

Further information

Page created on October 21st, 2010

Page updated on June 16th, 2011


The bad, as well as the good

This seems like a great initiative. Speaking personally, I use the internet to get information about medication and I am often unsure how reliable the information is. A single portal to reliable sites would be a great help in this area.


Its a great initiative. My own health and awareness of issues has increased greatly since recognising the benefits that the web can offer when combined with professional advice. It gives me a vehicle to ask the right questions. There are many useful applications on mobile phones out there and I would have hoped to have a better steer from the forum in due course. I think you have let yourselves down badly with the Bloke Noises application. It appears amateur and devalues a worthwhile message.

A great initiative

I'm a professional man in a busy job. I have a thousand reasons for going to the GP and taking an active interest in men related health issues. I think that this is a great initiative and effective too - I took time to read it. Thanks

Good initiative

this is really good initiative.

Men's Health

along with new technology awareness is more important. I believe authentic information should be made available online and an iPhone app would be great solution.

Men's Health Week

You're right about using techonology to engage men in health matters. As a male worker (only male in female dominated team) in the NHS in health promotion team, I find men like to engage in direct approach, and men's health have been overlooked in favour of women. There are many women only health centres but none for men. I did an event last year during the 'men's health week' in a community centre for men, but majority of the visitors were women, rather than men!

It seems that men feel embarrased attend these health events, which they probably know is aimed at women, so don't attend. We had a successful another event for the 'men's health week' at another venue, last year, where we had video games and shoulder massge, amongst other things, to attract men. That was quite successful but I could see loads of women were trying to gatecrash and peering through the glass door!

Your organisation is only organisation that is speaking out for men's health, which often has poor health outcome, than women, but successive governments and statutory organisations turned a blind eye to the health equalities in favour of women's health.

Azad Miah