Doctors recommend apps

Use of wearables in healthcare is on the rise with some significant implications for better patient health management and timely diagnosis and treatment. But according to a new study, doctors are still not comfortable recommending a specific device or app to their patients.

Cello Health Insight recently surveyed doctors across eight countries about their attitudes toward wearable devices and mobile apps. 41% of doctors agree that health apps could be game changers when used by patients but only 36% would actually recommend a specific app to their patients. Doctors cited diet and weight loss, general health and fitness, health monitoring, smoking cessation, and compliance as the main reasons for recommending use of health related applications. As for wearable technologies, only 9% of the doctors surveyed say that they own a fitness tracker and only 5% wear it regularly. In spite of this, 36% of them are likely to recommend wearables for their patients. There were significant variations; 67% doctors in Brazil agreed that they would recommend a wearable, while only to 33% in UK felt the same. The main reasons given for not recommending a health app or wearable include patients not owning a smart phone (28%), inconsistent use of app thus incomplete data (14%), lack of integration between wearables and the existing electronic management systems (11%), and last but not the least, doctor’s inability to understand and use the captured information (10%).

The report, Digital Health Debate, includes other information about patient’s use of online tools for diagnosis and their prescription requests based on self-diagnosis.