When digital health tools began to become widely available in 2016, there were many questions from questions from the medical community. While many of the 1,300 physicians that were surveyed were optimistic about the concept, many had basic questions that limited adoption.
AMA Digital Health Study, 2019
There concerns and questions fell to four broad categories.
- Does it work?
- Will I receive payment?
- Will I be Liable?
- Will it work in my practice?
The 2016 study was repeated in 2019 to determine how the attitudes of the medical community had change, and how those changes had impacted adoption.
The update of the 2016 survey showed that both enthusiasm for, and adoption of, digital health tools were growing. Over 87% of the responding physicians saw at least some advantage in using digital health tools. Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) show more interest than specials, with 40% of PCPs showing interest and enthusiasm for Digital Health Tools, while only 33% of specialists show the same levels of engagement.More significant is the upward trend of acceptance of Digital Health Tools. Most of the resistance to they use comes from physicians over the age of 50.
Adoption of digital health tools is growing
The survey showed a general upward trend in the use for digital health tools, with the largest increases in telehealth visits ((usage doubled from 14% in 2016 to 28% in 2019) and remote patient monitoring.Key motivators for adoption have evolved since the 2016 survey. “Allows me to provide care remotely” and “Help reduce stress burn-out” have moved from niche and low priority drivers, to key motivator and secondary driver status.Primary motivators for adoption remain most unchanged, siting items such as increases patient safety, increases patient adherence, improved diagnostic ability and improved work efficiency”, remaining key motivators. Joining that list are heightened focus on the need for solutions to be covered by standard malpractice insurance, well integrated in the EHR and concerns around data privacy.
Awareness Grows But More Support Is Needed
Awareness around the use of digital health continues to grow in the medical community, with more than 1/3 of those surveyed indicating that they indent to adopt some digital health tools in the next twelve months. However, physicians seek support through CME courses, podcasts and conferences, step-by-step implementation guides and point of care resources.