The first generation to grow up with health advice available at the tap of a smart-phone is all grown up.

This is a generation of people who buy dash-cams via Amazon. They summon taxis using GPS. But what is the lasting impact of digital on the healthcare industry?

It is easy to assume that the digital tidal wave has rolled in over the healthcare sector; that we are in the midst of a revolution in digital healthcare driven by smart device ownership, the hundreds of thousands of health apps available, and a societal interest in healthy living. Brands in the healthcare sector and beyond increasingly align their messaging around wellness.

Populus set out to undertake a full check-up on the UK public’s attitudes towards health. How does the UK public stack up when it comes to minor ailments? Where do they go for information and who is most likely to suffer in silence? And in an era of rapid digital evolution, how can brands and retailers operating in the healthcare space keep up?

The results are astonishing.

Despite the monumental surge in digital health resources, the consumer journey from ailment to recovery itself has remained largely non digital in terms of pre-purchase behaviour. Few are buying online and even fewer are using healthcare apps to manage conditions.

Our research shows that people suffer an average of 3.8 health conditions in a single year, with women more likely than men to suffer from multiple conditions. Millennials reported the highest number of minor ailments suffered in a single year (4.4); more than the 65+ age group.