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Brits have big appetite for health tech



The UK public is very open to technology in many areas of their lives - data that may have big implications for designers of any future public services

According to polling by non-profit innovation explorer Nesta, that’s particularly true for the NHS. The research suggests as many as 60% expect technology will improve their future well-being and 77% say that healthcare should be the focus of technological advancement.

Almost half back further research into DNA sequencing and editing, while over a third of Londoners say that they would be happy to have a chip inserted physically into them if that meant they could more easily access their work devices and future smart homes (36%).

“A flood of new technologies is set to change our daily lives - from self-driving cars to implants, gene testing to augmented reality,” pointed out the organisation’s chief executive, Geoff Mulgan.

There are reservations - especially among our neighbours, with one in three Spanish citizens contacted saying they fear more technology will mean the breakdown of trust in society, and over half of French respondents saying that technology will have a negative impact on employment.

Here at home, 53% of British citizens who talked to Nesta said they are worried that people will become more and more isolated, and only 28% expect technology to have a positive impact on levels of employment.

But overall, 22% of the sample felt optimistic about a tech-enriched future, says the group, which compiled the data to help publicise its two-day FutureFest festival of “immersive experiences, compelling performances and radical speakers” it regularly organises to “excite and challenge perceptions of the future’.

FutureFest is scheduled for this weekend at Tobacco Dock, and will feature a ‘body technologist’, British entrepreneur and inventor Ruth Amos (Future Work), food futurologist Dr. Morgaine Gaye (Future Thrive) and musician and writer Pat Kane.

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