mHealth Adoption Among Physicians [Infographic]
Patient engagement and patient experience are two focuses for healthcare organizations due to meaningful use requirements and efforts to achieve the Triple Aim. EHRs are the centerpiece for these efforts; mHealth technology offers another medium for physicians to become more efficient and better engage with their patients. Meaningful Use Stage 2 will benefit greatly through the integration of traditional healthcare platforms and new mHealth technology.
mHealth is also important in empowering patients to become more engaged, resulting in improved health outcomes, especially in regards to populations with a chronic disease. Adoption has increased in recent years with almost one-fifth of smartphone users having at least one health app on their phone; this number is expected to increase to 50% by 2017. Over half of patients surveyed in a mHealth study by PricewaterhouseCoopers expect these apps will make healthcare more convenient, less expensive, and of a higher quality. These numbers show that consumers are ready to become engaged in their health, however in order for mHealth technology to truly drive change with healthcare, physicians must also be on board.
Most physicians seem to agree that mHealth will help improve patient outcomes, engagement, and cut the cost of healthcare. Even with this positive sentiment, a majority have yet to prescribe, or even have conversations with, their patients about the benefits of mHealth technology. A recent survey by Council of Accountable Physician Practices, found most patients lack access and/or knowledge of mHealth or digital health tools, despite their willingness to use them. Privacy and security concerns is one of the barriers stopping physicians from having these conversations. Due to the lack of regulation and testing of mHealth technology, they are uncertain about the security and efficacy of patient-generated data from these sources.
This industry is still relatively new, so over time these concerns will be addressed. Below is an infographic with some more interesting statistics on the mHealth technology industry, as well as other barriers and facilitators driving physician adoption.