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Patients Around the World Believe in Technology for Healthcare, Survey Says

December 9, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Patients around the world are optimistic about technology innovations advancing healthcare, are willing to participate in virtual healthcare visits with their doctor, and would use health sensors in their bodies and even their toilets, according to a new study commissioned by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel Corporation.

Regarding personalization, more than 70 percent of the survey’s 12,000 respondents are receptive to using toilet sensors, prescription bottle sensors or swallowed monitors to collect ongoing and actionable personal health data. Sixty-six percent of people prefer a personalized healthcare regimen designed specifically for them based on their genetic profile or biology. And 53 percent of those surveyed said they would trust a test they personally administered as much or more than if it came from a doctor

The “Intel Healthcare Innovation Barometer,” conducted across eight countries— Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and the United States—found the majority of people also believe that technology innovation holds the best promise for curing fatal diseases—more than increasing the number of physicians or additional funding for research.

People also indicated willingness to share their information to advance the field of medicine and lower costs for all. The survey revealed an overwhelming majority of people (84 percent) globally would anonymously share their personal health information, such as lab results, if it could lower medication costs or overall cost to the healthcare system. A higher percentage of people said they are more willing to share their health records (47 percent) than their phone records (38 percent) or banking information (30 percent) to aid innovation.

Further, 57 percent of people believe traditional hospitals will be obsolete in the future. And 72 percent of those surveyed are willing to see a doctor via video conference for non-urgent appointments. As remote healthcare technology and self-monitoring tools improve, people may embrace technologies that will allow them to connect with their caregivers in new ways, such as sensor technology that transmits health data in real time. Today’s technologies such as social networks and video conferencing can help people embrace new behaviors, according to the survey.

“This survey indicates very high willingness of people to become part of the solution to the world’s healthcare problems with the aid of all sorts of technologies,” Eric Dishman, Intel fellow and general manager of the company’s Health and Life Sciences Group, said in a statement. “Most people appear to embrace a future of healthcare that allows them to get care outside hospital walls, lets them anonymously share their information for better outcomes, and personalizes care all the way down to an individual’s specific genetic makeup.”

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