Bloke Noises, currently only available on the iPhone, is a funny way to find out more about health and the strange noises the male body is capable of. It provides men with ‘all the information you need about the health problems that are most likely to trouble you’ – with the relevant sound effects!
It’s Men’s Health Week this week (June 13th – 19th) and the national charity, The Men’s Health Forum, is using the week to encourage and inspire the use of Men
According to the Men’s Health Forum, 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. Men are known to be enthusiastic users of wide range of new technologies – online systems, mobile phone applications, social networking, gaming, etc. The Men’s Health Forum wants 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:
Promote the wide range of new technologies now available to improve men’s health
Develop new materials for men to use on the internet, their mobile phone, etc.
Encourage service providers to seize these new opportunities to reach men effectively
Encourage more men to access health information on the internet and mobile phones
The Men’s Health Forum believes 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’.
The charity 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.