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Smartphones Enter UK Physicians' Offices

Over 80% of doctors now use smartphones for profession-related reasons at work

October 8, 2014

It looks like UK physicians are following the worldwide trend of doctors’ offices going mobile, as an August 2014 survey by M3 Research for Cello Health Insight found that 82% of physicians in the country used smartphones for professional purposes. This trailed only desktops, which had become a staple in most doctors’ offices: 97% of respondents accessed such devices at work.

Devices Used for Professional Purposes by UK Physicians, Aug 2014 (% of respondents)

Despite their portability, which desktops don’t have, laptops ranked a distant third, with nearly half of the percentage of respondents for smartphones. Tablets trailed at 34%. And—no huge shocker here—smartphones had replaced general mobile phones, used by just 14% for professional purposes. Respondents noted that they often turned to smartphones and tablets to search for information and communicate with peers—as well as when their desktop or laptop was being slow.

Social media had also made its way into the office, with almost two-thirds of UK doctors saying they accessed such sites for professional purposes. Among physicians who had jumped on the social media bandwagon, information mecca Wikipedia was the most-used platform, with just under half of respondents using the site for work-related reasons in the past month. YouTube ranked second, at 23%.

Social Media Sites Used for Professional Purposes by UK Physicians, Aug 2014 (% of respondents)

However, Cello noted a shift in doctors’ social preferences over the past four years. Wikipedia and YouTube usage had actually plateaued or even fallen, while the percentage of respondents who used Twitter and Facebook—sites that allow for easier receiving and sharing of info—rose. LinkedIn also saw an 11-percentage-point increase between 2011 and 2014.

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