An Apple a day? Tablet use may soon top 50% for physicians

June 29, 2011

When it comes to technology, an apple a day does not keep the doctor away. In fact, physicians prefer Apples?or, at least the Apple platforms that run the iPad and iPhone. Nearly 30% of physicians use an iPad?6 times more than general U.S. consumers?and more than 60% of physicians who use smartphones have an iPhone.

When it comes to technology, an apple a day does not keep the doctor away. In fact, physicians prefer Apples-or, at least the Apple platforms that run the iPad and iPhone.

Nearly 30% of physicians use an iPad-six times more than general U.S. consumers-and more than 60% of physicians who use smartphones have an iPhone, according to a report released June 15 by QuantiaMD.

And those market shares are likely to grow quickly. While 80% of physicians already use mobile technology, 44% of those who do not yet own a mobile device expect to acquire one this year-and the Apple products dominate among the likely purchases. Almost twice as many physicians expect to buy an iPhone as any other smart phone and iPad’s are favored nearly four to one over other tablets. In total, 66% expect to purchase an Apple product.

For primary care practices upgrading their computer and communication systems to comply with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, this dominance may be a factor in decision making.

Mobile technology usage transcends generational boundaries, perhaps because of the move to electronic health records (EHRs). Almost 20% of physicians in practice 30 years or more already use tablets for work, and an additional 25% anticipating using one soon.

Tablets offer easier viewing than smart phones and conveniently go with a physician into an exam room, office, or on rounds. Mobile devices are currently used by 20% of physicians to access patient information and records.

While physicians most commonly use mobile devices to access drug and treatment references (69%) and assist in patient diagnosis and treatment, they are also growing in popularity for patient communication and education and e-prescribing. An increasing number of integrated applications designed for the tablet format, such as Drchrono, make it possible to virtually run an office from the devices.

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