Health systems across Europe and around the world are facing challenges with an aging population who have chronic health conditions and limited budgets. Digital health is an opportunity to help bridge the gap between healthcare delivery and efficiency of service. A new report from Ipsos Healthcare, Digital Doctor Tracker 2015, focuses on doctors’ attitudes towards new digital health technologies, concerns regarding their uptake, and views on which therapy areas would benefit the most. This study was conducted in the UK, France and Germany.
According to the study, 72% of doctors have already recommended or used an application, forum, or wearable technology. This shows their willingness to engage with digital health technology. This technology is not a just a trend but is here to stay as only 1 in 5 doctors thought of it as a fad. Furthermore, 1 in 4 doctors believe that health and lifestyle apps will become part of a patient’s future treatment plans even though they can’t clearly see what role digital health would play. While doctors are willing to embrace digital health and wearables, they have concerns about the mis-interpretation of data, lack of security and privacy, and inaccurate data that could lead to anxiety and stress about health. Further, doctors believe that in-person visits will continue to be necessary despite these developments and will be important to providing drug information to the patients. Among doctors, there is higher level of distrust in pharmaceutical sites then technology companies when it comes to trusted apps for digital health. As doctors are wary of pharmaceutical companies’ commercial interests, 40% say they would not trust an app developed by them.
Doctors may not know clearly what they want from these apps and devices, but they do see the benefits of digital health in monitoring chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases.