Men's Health Week 2011 (13-19th June) will focus on how new technologies can be used to improve men's health.
Plans for the week include:
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 (www.malehealth.co.uk) 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:
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page created on October 21st, 2010
Page updated on June 16th, 2011