More than four in five (83%) physicians believe that increased consumer and patient-generated data from connected devices would benefit the overall quality of care and enable more personalized care plans, according to a new nationwide poll released by Ernst & Young LLP (EY).
The report reveals both consumers and physicians are eager for increased digital engagement. More than half (54%) of consumers surveyed indicate a comfort level contacting their physician digitally, and express interest in using technology such as at-home diagnostic testing (36%), using a smart phone or connect device of information sharing (33%) and video consultation (21%).
Other survey findings include:
– Two-thirds (66%) also indicate that increased digital technologies would reduce the burden on the health care system and its associated costs, and 64% think it would help reduce the burden on doctors and nurses and have a positive impact on the critical issue of burnout.
– While only 26% of consumers are interested in sharing lifestyle information with their physician, those numbers make a big jump when you add-in incentives. Consumers said that reduced waiting times (61%) and cost savings (55%) provided the biggest incentives to increase digital engagement with their physicians.
– Even further, despite hesitation in sharing dietary and exercise information, 26% indicated that the ability to receive tailored diet and exercise plans would also encourage engagement with digital technology.
– Despite the overall positive sentiment, generational differences are prominent among both consumers and physicians. Across all forms of tech, the survey found much lower engagement and interest from those aged 45 years and older.
– Results also point to increased awareness among consumers about the level of innovation in the health sector, with 64% of consumers considering the US health industry to be innovative. To build on this, 70% of physicians are positive about the effectiveness of current technologies in use.
“The health sector today is ripe for disruption, and these findings reinforce the need for organizations to rethink how and where care is delivered to consumers,” said Jacques Mulder, US Health Leader, Ernst & Young, LLP. “Both consumers and physicians are empowered by emerging technology and are hungry for better, more connected experiences. This demand paves the way for nontraditional players to make an impact on the industry and is another indicator that health in entering an era of convergence.”
The report is the first in a series of surveys conducted by EY on the future of health in the US.