Digital omnivores, a term now being largely used to describe people who are using smartphones, tablets and laptops seems to be fitting perfectly to describe health providers as well. Physicians across all specialties and clinical roles are embracing several devices in the consult room and beyond.
Epocrates conducted a survey recently showing that mHealth and physician engagement with multiple devices is on the rise. According to the survey, 90% of the 1,063 healthcare professionals who were surveyed in the 2013 Mobile Trends Report reported that they use a smartphone daily, and nearly as many reporting tablet use on a regular basis.
The report stated, “Today’s digital omnivores express a preference for mobile screens across all professional tasks – an important behavioral shift that has potential to dramatically shape the way developers, content providers and marketers engage with clinicians as the three-screen workflow becomes the norm.” With such transformational shift in the workflow, physicians will also need to overcome the various technological challenges in order to carry out their work smoothly and be more productive.
More than half of the surveyed providers reported that they are already using a desktop or laptop and a mix of smartphone and tablet on a regular basis. The number is expected to soar to 82% by 2014.
The top activities providers did on mobile devices included reading professional journal articles and investigating resources. They were closely followed by activities such as checking email and participating in continuing medical education (CME) classes.
“Clinicians clearly endorse the viability of mobile technology to enable rapid access to clinical information and communication among a growing roster of caregivers,” the report concludes. “Industry stakeholders such as EHR providers, pharmaceutical companies, technology firms and content owners must now determine how best to leverage this groundswell of behavioral input to inform product development and marketing programs that support providers in successfully embracing these rapidly evolving models of healthcare.”