Technology Adoption Among “Older” Physicians

If asked, most healthcare experts would suggest that there is a technology gap between young physicians and those of us who have been around a bit longer. However, as reported in American Medical News by Pamela Lewis Dolan, a new survey performed by QuantiaMD suggests that physicians who have been in practice 31 years or more are about as likely as those fresh out of medical school to own a tablet computer or plan to purchase one.

This QuantiaMD Survey of 3,798 physicians identified some other interesting trends:

  • More than 80% of physicians indicated that they own a mobile device capable of downloading applications
  • 30% of physicians used a table device (compared to approximately 5% of U.S. consumers)
  • 25% of physicians responding were characterized as “Super Mobile” users and have both smart phone and tablet devices

Not surprisingly, the most common usage of mobile devices is related to looking up drug and treatment reference material — what some call the “peripheral brain” function. Years ago, it was the packed pockets of a white coat with all sorts of reference cards/pocket books that served this purpose. Now a handheld device or tablet easily surpass those days of carrying 30 pounds of guides, index cards, manuals, etc.

The full QuantiaMD survey is online here. It isn’t a statistically validated study and the results were likely affected by selection bias. However, as a window into technology-supported practice, it offers a nice view of the changes that readily accessible and easy-to-use mobile platforms are having on the practice of medicine.

This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein.

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