There were over 100 million visits to NHS Choices in 2010 but only 36% where from men - despite the fact that men tend to spend more hours online.
NHS Choices reckons increased personalisation will help this – the option for users to create their own NHS Choices home page, for example, has been taken up by 14% of male users compared to 5% of female ones.
These are some NHS Online Tools that might appeal to men – be warned some of these are very slow downloads
NHS Life check - NHS LifeCheck is a free, easy-to-use, online service that will help you to assess your lifestyle and improve your future health. It is targeted at specific groups including babies, young people and over 40s.
BMI Healthy Weight Calculator - the first BMI tool to measure both adult and child BMI and the single most popular tool on NHS Choices. Gets some 200,000 visits a month.
NHS Choices iPhone Alcohol Tracker – a tool that allows individuals to track their track their drinking from their mobile phone. Gives warnings when consumption exceeds limits. More than 188,000 downloads in first year.
Change4Life - clever NHS idea built on the premise that telling people to give up something unhealthy may be less effective than encouraging them to swap it for something else. Lots of ideas for building exercise and food swaps into your life for the long term.
Smokefree - quitting smoking is still the single best health decision you can make. All the NHS resources are here in one place including access to an online advisor.
Couch to 5k - Hugely popular series of podcasts available via iTunes. Downloaded more than 125,000 times in first five months.
The Atlas of Risk - an interactive tool that allows individuals to graphically compare one life risk against another in order to get a better perspective on the real risks to their health. Can be tailored to the user’s age, sex and location.
If you want to go further and use the internet not just to find health information but to store it, the NHS offer Health Space, an online personal health record keepers where you can record and track personalised health/medical information for you and your family. Software giants Microsoft are developing a similar idea called Health Vault.
There are issues around this of course - not least security - but it is the way of the future as this article on the MHF website suggests: The online future of the NHS.
Website provision by GPs is highly variable. Some are trying really hard despite limited resources for this. The results can make life easier for doctor, practice team and patient alike. Here are some we like:
What's your GP's website like?
NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) has published a report into research commissioned to, in their words 'better understand how people who are in danger of being excluded from benefiting from electronic health information because of age, financial disadvantage or disability could be encouraged and supported to use it. This is particularly important for people with long term conditions.' All true and it makes for an interesting report but it does not look at the specific needs of men.
Page created on January 25th, 2011
Page updated on March 24th, 2011