The good news for mobile health app developers is that physicians seem to be open to the idea of reviewing data that patients have tracked themselves. The bad news is that 30 percent of doctors say they don’t have patients who track, and those that do say most patients do it the old-fashioned way.
Manhattan Research’s annual Taking the Pulse survey, conducted online with nearly 3,000 physicians in the first quarter of the year, delivered some interesting insights. First, 70 percent of surveyed physicians said they had at least one patient sharing health measurement data with them.
That might seem like a lot, but that still leaves a full 30 percent who say they don’t have a single patient who writes down information about their symptoms, habits, etc. and shares it with their doctor. That seems like an awful lot.
The physicians surveyed also said that the most common ways patients track are by handwriting data or sharing a printout. That’s consistent with data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s annual survey, which has shown flat adoption of mobile health apps at around 10 percent.
Manhattan Research, though, puts a more positive spin on the data. “Self-tracking is already a part of the care paradigm, and its prevalence is going to accelerate rapidly as digital connection, payment reform and outcome-focused delivery make advances,” said James Avallone, the firm’s director of physician research. In fact, 75 percent of physicians said they believed patient self-tracking can lead to better health outcomes.
Apps to follow health care recommendations and to track symptoms and compliance are going to be the norm when those 30 and under start needing to do these things. I don't quite meet that age cut-off (being 43) but I am a social media manager and, therefore, adopt new tech and new mech earlier than most in my age group.
I wouldn't worry that the majority of those who track compliance are still using paper or printouts. Apps just aren't in the wheelhouse for most with chronic illness right now. We'll see steady increases in usage from here on out--right until they invent a new way to do it.
@PaulMoniz1 Sure hope so. It will be so beneficial for the patient and the doctor. Not sure that older people will get on board though.
@SunnieSouthern Well, poking myself with needles three times a day, every day seems like such a waste.
@mjseres our patients created My Medications Passport which is paper & app version - just started using the App which is great for me...
@DShaywitz What will help convince all entities to embrace health innovation that is being made then? Better marketing?
@mHealthInsightDavid, the column you link to is perfect for a MedCitizens post. http://medcitynews.com/category/medcitizens/
Can I repost it with your bio, byline and a link back to your blog?
@kaumee pls send me the link.
@DShaywitz I think it would be more convincing if doc tell people what apps to use bc of their authority, right? Or would that create bias?