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Physicians Turn to Digital Tools to Boost Patient Outcomes, Survey Says

June 5, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Two in five physicians agree that using digital technology to communicate with patients will improve patient outcomes, according to a new survey from the New York City-based Manhattan Research.

Similarly, 40 percent of physicians also said that they have increased their use of digital tools to communicate with patients over the past year; 47 percent of smartphone owners had shown patients images or videos on their devices, and more than a third of physicians had recommended that patients use health apps in the past year, according the survey, which was based on responses from 3,066 physicians in the first quarter of 2014.

More than a third of physicians also said that they had been evaluated or rewarded based on metrics measuring cost of treatment. Further, telemedicine and remote care use is small but growing, the research found. While video consults are still relatively rare, nearly one quarter of physicians reported that they or their teams have communicated with patients through a patient portal over the past year, and more than one in five had done so using secure messaging platforms. More than one in five monitored patients remotely, and those physicians monitored an average 22 patients per month.  

“As we move to an outcomes-based model of healthcare provision in the U.S., remote monitoring and telehealth are going to drive an extension of the point of care. We’re seeing physician attitudes really align with policy,” James Avallone, director of physician research at Manhattan Research said in a statement.

 “There’s a perception out there that the shift in focus to population health isn’t yet on physicians’ radar. This data shows physicians are thinking about patient outcomes and indicates an opportunity for companies that can provide them digital tools to help them meet their targets,” added Monique Levy, vice president of research.

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