Survey: Patients frustrated with healthcare, think tech can help

October 25, 2019
Keith A. Reynolds

Patients want to take their healthcare matters into their own hands using technology

Most American patients are frustrated with the country’s healthcare system, but they think technology can help, according to a new survey performed by ResMed.

In all, 78 percent of the adult patients surveyed said they think it should be easier to find medical care, while 68 percent feel that most of their time at a hospital isn’t spent with a physician. Meanwhile, 63 percent of respondents are sick of feeling like their personal health doesn’t matter in the current system.

This dissatisfaction is pushing these patients into the online world where six out of 10 respondents have attempted to diagnose themselves after researching symptoms on the internet. These patients also believe they can figure out the best treatment options without visiting a healthcare provider, the survey found.

Despite these numbers, 85 percent of respondents said they value their relationship with their primary care physician and want to use technology to improve communication with them. More than double the number of respondents who said they currently use online chat or app-based communication told surveyors they would like to use it in the future and three times as many would like to use video chat.

Patients are also using technology to monitor their health with 56 percent using at least one digital data collection tool to do so.

These users are also more likely to take part in preventative healthcare measures, including screening for cancer and other high-risk conditions, exercising regularly, and seeing a doctor or primary care physician regularly.

“Apps and other digital tools now provide easy, secure access to our own health data and our doctors at all times,” says Carlos M. Nunez, MD, ResMed’s Chief Medical Officer. “These real-world data can reveal insights that help improve the use of a home-based therapy or may spark a talk with a doctor that helps patients get the most from their therapy for better results.

“Meanwhile, clinicians with remote access to patients’ data can monitor them more easily, quickly reaching out to those who need support,” Nunez adds. “Medical researchers can analyze large data sets to uncover findings that may lead to new best practices that are applicable across populations of patients. All of these benefits are changing the way we all receive care today, improving the quality of care for millions and increasing healthcare providers’ efficiency.”

While patients are already adopting these technologies, they still have a thirst for their physicians to bring newer tech into their practice with a vast majority believing robotics, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality will have a positive impact on healthcare.

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