It is undeniable that the UK is in many ways in a total health crisis with statistics surrounding both physical and mental health spiralling totally out of control. As individuals, as a society and a health service, we are simply unable to sustain our current approach to health and with a shift in terms of both resources and focus in the NHS likely in the immediate future, who will become responsible for our health happiness?
Of course, there are many of us who happily believe that our physical health and mental well being are unconnected yet with 1 in 4 of us experiencing poor mental health at any time and, as an example, over 4 million people in the UK living with diabetes, it is undeniable that the two are in many ways linked.
The challenge, in our opinion, is that we have become inherently lazy when it comes to our health and look for quick fix solutions to the effects of poor health rather than investing, understanding and improving the causes. For example, the average person takes 373 paracetamol a year – many of which will be used to treat dehydration, tiredness or aches and pains that could be solved with a balanced diet, rest, massage or exercise.
Over third of us have used slimming pills at some point in our lives whilst two thirds of us are on a diet ‘most of the time’ and although 1 in 7 of us are members of a gym, only 14.9% of us are thought to use the gym regularly. We have become entirely accustomed to ‘quick fixes’ and are now in a position where we simply can’t provide fixes for the various ailments so many of us experience.
So, how do we change our approach to health and whose responsibility is it to improve the health of our health service and well being of our nation as a whole.
The only logical and sustainable answer is of course, ourselves but rather than assuming this is a step we will all simply be able to take, we recognise there is a need to shift our whole approach to health in order to facilitate this.
At Elephant, we believe that to encourage and empower individuals to take control of their own health, we must facilitate a ‘self-health’ culture in which individuals can understand their health and well being with ease. This calls for regulated information, accessibility and simplicity for users – and in order to make it sustainable, this must be an almost automated solution to save both time and money for the NHS.
Our self health kiosks, which allow individuals to access and understand a variety of basic health indicators, are a key enabler to self health culture and in many ways put both our physical and mental well being in our own hands. Our belief is that to truly become accountable for our own health and well being, we must be given access to information and independence to understand it.
We would love to hear your thoughts so please do join in the conversation on twitter, linkedin or facebook @elephantkiosks.