If doctors aren’t willing to use new digital health and medical technologies, then the best engineering, design work, and clinical studies won’t make it far beyond the labs and publications. We wrote in 2015 about consumers accepting health data sharing with physicians. A 2018 report by The Doctors Company, however, found that a majority of doctors surveyed had only negative opinions of EHRs. Last fall we wrote about American Well’s Telehealth Index 2019 Physician Survey which showed significant increases in telehealth adoption.

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently released the results of its 2019 study of physicians’ attitudes and adoption of digital clinical tools. The 2019 study was based on a similar survey in 2016. The AMA wanted to determine the degree of change in physician digital health adoption.

The survey measured seven areas of digital health implementation:

  • Remote monitoring for efficiency
  • Tele-visits/virtual visits
  • Remote monitoring and management for improved care
  • Point of care/Workflow enhancement
  • Clinical decision support
  • Consumer access to clinical data
  • Patient engagement

The 2019 AMA survey found the following substantive changes since 2016:

  1. More doctors see advantages in digital tools. The increase was highest among PCPs and trending lower among doctors age 50 and older.
  2. Use increased in all seven digital health implementation areas, with no variation for gender, specialty, or age. Improved efficiency and patient safety are the primary motivations for increased tech use.
  3. Tele-visits and remote monitoring had the largest adoption increases.
  4. Adoption of AI and augmented intelligence are low, but awareness and future adoption intentions are high.

The AMA’s study bodes well for future continued increases in digital health adoption by healthcare professionals.