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Take Two Apps and Text Me in the Morning

Smartphones and tablets become essential tools for the healthcare community

November 16, 2012 (New York, NY) – Smartphones and tablets are integral to many healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) daily routines. In short order, they have become essential tools for drug and medical reference, access points for clinical information, visual aids for educating patients and time-savers for managing increasingly burdensome administrative tasks. A new report from eMarketer examines the myriad ways mobile platforms are changing the healthcare industry.

The new report, “Take Two Apps and Text Me in the Morning: How Smartphones and Tablets Are Changing the Way Healthcare Practitioners Work,” examines emerging mobile trends in the healthcare industry and answers key questions including:

  • How are healthcare professionals using smartphones and tablets in daily practice?

  • How are these devices fundamentally changing the way healthcare professionals practice?

  • How is mobile marketing to HCPs evolving?

Already today’s physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians are heavy mobile users, with doctors leading the pack.

According to MedPage Today, in March, 70% of US physicians used a smartphone as part of their medical practice, and a variety of other studies have pegged physician ownership or professional use of smartphones at over 80%. Smartphones are followed closely by tablets, which have also been adopted at a faster pace by HCPs than by the general population.

Health professionals tap their mobile devices for a range of professional activities that run the gamut. According to WebMD’s vice president of professional services, Dr. Steven Zatz, medical professionals most often use smartphones and tablets to access reference information—“to look something up”—either at the point of care or between patient consults.

Health professionals tap their mobile devices for a range of professional activities that run the gamut. According to WebMD’s vice president of professional services, Dr. Steven Zatz, medical professionals most often use smartphones and tablets to access reference information—“to look something up”—either at the point of care or between patient consults.

A November 2011 study by UBM Medica bears this out. It found that 80% of US HCPs used mobile devices to look up drug information, and more than 54% used them to look up treatment or diagnosis-related information.

In the coming years, technology advances will only accelerate mobile adoption and bring about more coordinated and complex HCP use of portable electronic devices in healthcare practice.

“Continued migration to electronic health records will drive greater demand for secure mobile access,” said eMarketer. “And patients, similarly empowered by technology, will partner with their providers in new care models that make use of therapies that incorporate mobile tracking and monitoring, data analysis and individualized coaching and feedback.”

Posted on November 16, 2012.