Physicians Prescribing Digital Patient Tools at Feverish Pace

Physicians Recommending Digital Patient Tools at Feverish PaceWith each passing day in the U.S., mHealth apps are becoming a larger staple of doctors’ orders.

“As U.S. healthcare providers reorient their practices to meet outcomes-based incentives, many are looking to patient-facing digital tools to help them meet those goals,” reads a published snippet from Manhattan Research’s Taking the Pulse U.S. 2014 study.

More than a third of physicians said that they had been evaluated or rewarded based on metrics measuring cost of treatment, patient outcomes or referrals over the past year.
At the same time, the findings indicate, two in five physicians agreed that using digital technology to communicate with patients will improve patient outcomes, and as many said that they have increased their use of digital tools to communicate with patients over the past year.

Key report findings include:

  • Physicians are leveraging digital tools with patients: Forty-seven percent of smartphone owners had shown patients images or videos on their devices, and more than a third of physicians had recommended that patients use health apps in the past year.
  • Telemedicine and remote care use is small but growing: While video consults are still relatively rare, nearly one quarter of physicians report that they or their teams have communicated with patients through a patient portal over the past year, and more than one in five had done so using secure messaging platforms. More than one in five monitored patients remotely, and those physicians monitored an average 22 patients per month.

“As we move to an outcomes-based model of healthcare provision in the U.S., remote monitoring and telehealth are going to drive an extension of the point of care. We’re seeing physician attitudes really align with policy,” says Director of Physician Research, James Avallone.

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