Doctor’s Going Digital

My husband fowarded me this interesting graphic.

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
The Doctor's Tech Toolbox  | Infographic |
Image Source: Spina Bifida


Some of my thoughts on the graphic:

63% of doctors are using mobile devices that aren’t connected to their practice! 79% prefer the iPad and 75% have purchased an Apple device. Another 38% plan to purchase an iPad in the coming year. Finally with 86% of physicians wanting to use their mobile devices to EMRs, hospital IT departments Needto get on the ball and deal with iPads and iPhones in their institutions. Clearly they make think it is a personal device, but the graphic clearly shows that doctors think it is more than a personal device, are using it in their medical practice. 

All of that information also means that librairans and library vendors need to make sure their electronic resources are accessible on the iPad.  That means no Flash. It also might mean other formatting issues like reduce the need to scroll. It is a lot easier to scroll with a mouse than to flick scroll with your fingers.  Even if publishers/vendors adhere to the no Flash rule, there are still ways to build interactivity into the material and have high resolution pictures, videos, sounds, etc.  I know a doctor who used his iPad to access a video on WebMD to show at the patient’s bedside what their surgical procedure would be.  Give electronic resources dimension, but make sure it can be accessible on the dominant platform, which appears to be the iPad (if this graphic is correct).

Interesting that despite the growth and popularity of the Android phone in the consumer market, it seems their tablet is much less popular because only 9% of physicians would want an Android model.  Like I said interesting the difference between the phone and tablet market.

Librarians interested in medical apps should take note of the four relatively inexpensive (if you don’t count the camera attachment) medical apps that doctors are using on their devices.

Finally, I find it very interesting that with all the press that Sermo and other closed social networking sites have gotten that “physicians prefer open forums over physician only online communities.”  So it looks like closed sites are not the answer.  Perhaps something like Google+ which allows people to share in an open forum but also selectively restrict things to specific people/circles might become more popular among medical professionals. 

One statistic I find suspect is the one stating  2/3 of the doctors are using social media for professional purposes.  What social media and how?  I find it hard to believe that 2/3 of the doctors are on FB (Sermo, LinkedIn, etc.) for professional purposes.  If it means that 2/3 of the doctors are using some form of social media for professional purposes such as reading blogs and wikis, then I totally can see that statistic. I would like to see how that question was worded because if it asked them what of the following things have you done professionally and it listed read a blog, read a wiki page, use FB professionally, tweet a conference, tweet professionally, etc. I can totally seeing that kind of question skewing things.  They may be using it professionally, i.e. reading a blog post, but they may not be participating for professional reasons i.e. tweeting a conference.

I hope you find the graphic as interesting as I do.  Thanks Mike for passing it along to me.

2 thoughts on “Doctor’s Going Digital”

  1. The graphic is very pretty and interesting, but take a look at the sources at the bottom. Many of the sources refer to Hospitals adoption of technology, and not physicians. None of the sources, as far as I have found, are actual studies. Many of the sources are news articles stating they did a survey, but not listing the full results of the survey. So how valid is this? I would say it has some merit but I wouldn’t say it is completely accurate.

    I know several physicians that use an android phone because they do not like how Apple is locked down. I know several who have an iPad because it is the only good option currently available. Many of the physicians lament the fact that Apple does not allow flash and forces users to do without. How can a company say you must buy our product but we refuse to let you use a specific program that is utilized by many online? It may be time to move to HTML5 but when many sources online are still utilizing flash (umm.. MedlinePlus for instance) and it would take a great deal of effort, not to mention funds, to redo these resources then why is Apple forcing customers into a position where Flash is automatically obsolete? I have spoken to several physicians in our hospital and many say they would quickly switch to an Android or Windows (yes windows, they want a tablet that will integrate with the hospitals systems) if there was a reliable and quality tablet available. I have also spoken to several residents and some physicians who would not give up their iPhone or iPad for anything. It really comes down to preference.

    Will hospitals accommodate iPads and other Apple devices. This I am not sure about. Many hospitals are in the process of struggling to release an EMR system and meet all of the meaningful use criteria. Not many hospitals are going to take the time to make changes to this new system so it will integrate with Apple products. Remember, Apple is a closed system that does not work well with other operating systems. So if you are trying to transfer a medical record from a Windows PC to an Apple Computer, think of the items that can go wrong. Think of how you transfer a word document or presentation now and the format does not come out right. Would you want this to happen to your medication dose? The other question is will hospitals have the funds to investigate to help integrate Apple products into their systems? I doubt it. Most hospitals use Windows PC, many use Dells (based on my conversations with librarians throughout the US). I have not heard of a hospital using only Apple computers (if you know of one, please let me know). So… if hospitals use Windows PC, are currently struggling to implement EMR systems, funds are maxed out due to economic situations and implementing new systems, then will they be able to adapt their systems for Apple Products? Should they?

    Technology is a fluid area. It is always changing and will continue to change. In the coming months there are rumors of a new iOS, new iPhone, new iPad, Amazon Android tablet, Vizio Android Tablet, and more. I think the numbers above will change quickly. Deciding on the type of device is a personal choice. Yes I agree Apple has a better app market with more medical apps available at this time. I just do not know if it is the best choice for everyone. What do you think?


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