New research has shown that 4 out of 5 Irish adults have gone online seeking to self-diagnose, with 46% reporting increased stress or worry as result of their search.

Almost one third (32%) said they can’t get a GP appointment in a surgery at a time that suits them while 1 in 3 said it was difficult to get time off work to visit a GP.

These are among the findings of a survey undertaken on behalf of Aviva Health Insurance in advance of the launch of a new benefit, ‘babylon health’, which allows its customers to have fully covered face to face GP consultations with an experienced Irish registered GP through their smartphone.

The new GP consultation service is available at no extra cost to new members on selected plans who buy between 2nd March to 30th April 2015.

The survey of over one thousand Irish adults found that 63% would be interested in using a SKYPE type GP Service, with more than half (53%) stating it would give them peace of mind over any health concerns.

Over three quarters (78%) who use the internet to research their medical concerns cited speed of diagnosis as their number one reason for doing so.

GPs are the first port of call for the majority of adults (64%) seeking information about their health. However, respondents (64%) complained that their appointments never started on time while 62% said they disliked sitting in a waiting room with sick people.

Users of the babylon service can book an appointment between the hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, excluding bank holidays with 95% of appointments within 30 minutes of booking. All babylon health GPs are registered with the Irish Medical Council and work in traditional GP practices as well. There are currently over 5,000 users registered with babylon in the UK and 95% of users have rated their experience 5 out of 5. An average of 7% of consultations in the UK requires a follow-up visit to a GP in the traditional surgery setting.

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