MAPSTATS

Percentage of people who made an appointment with a health practitioner online

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Percentage of people who made an appointment with a health practitioner online (2016)

Access to the internet among Europeans is rising (85% of EU households had internet access in 2016) and people are increasingly going online to access information and interact with the provider of different services. Health is no exception. The amount of information regarding health and illness available on line is growing, as are the opportunities of interacting with health care providers electronically, for example to make medical appointments.

Digital technologies can improve patient experience and outcomes, and the efficiency of services, but some may generate minimal benefit (at a considerable expense), and protecting individuals’ privacy is a frequent problem and a policy priority (OECD, 2017). While online medical information can be a useful way to help people manage their health, regulation is difficult and many people are not in a position to check the veracity of this type of information.

Denmark49
Finland35
Spain30
Norway25
Belgium22
Estonia22
Sweden22
Netherlands21
Turkey20
Lithuania18
UK16
Luxembourg15
Hungary14
EU2813
Germany11
France10
Croatia10
Czechia9
Portugal9
Italy7
Latvia7
Poland7
Slovakia7
Ireland6
Austria6
Malta5
Romania5
Slovenia4
Bulgaria3
FYROM3
Greece2
Cyprus0

One in eight EU residents (13%) made an appointment with a health care practitioner online in 2016, up from one in twelve (8%) in 2012 (Figure 8.3). Almost half (49%) of Danish residents made a medical appointment online in 2016 (up from 29% in 2012). Finland and Spain had the second and third highest proportion of residents making a medical appointment this way in 2016, with 35% and 30% respectively. Virtually no Cypriots reported making a medical appointment online in either year.

The figure was also low in Greece and Bulgaria (2% and 3% respectively in 2016). In all countries except Cyprus, the proportion of residents making appointments on line increased between 2012 and 2016, on average by 63%. The greatest increases were observed in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Hungary.

Making medical appointments online had a weak correlation with internet access (r2 = 0.34), suggesting that internet access is not a sufficient condition to making medical appointments online. A moderate correlation (r2 = 0.51) was observed with internet banking, which was performed by 49% of EU residents in 2016, suggesting that individuals who conduct their banking online also tend to book medical appointments this way.

The correlation with the percentage of individuals booking travel and accommodation online (41% across the EU) was weak (r2 = 0.32). These figures suggest that internet use for making medical appointments is lagging behind use for other personal services.

source: OECD

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