Two-thirds of 500 recently surveyed physicians use some kind of mobile app in the performance of their jobs and 60 percent are interested in technology that enables mobile EHR access. 

Almost half of those physicians surveyed by MedData Group indicated they are using mobile medication-interaction apps--by far the most cited current usage of mHealth technology--which the firm says is because it’s "easy to deploy a mobile application during the exam, at the point in which a physician is making prescription decisions." Topsfield, Mass.-based MedData Group is a publisher that provides demand generation services to healthcare technology and medical device vendors.

When physicians were asked which mobile applications they would consider using over the next 12 months, four apps draw interest by 35 percent or more of physicians: mobile EHR access and point-of-care information on drugs, medical devices and diagnoses, patient portals, and secure texting. 

However, the biggest barriers to physicians adopting mobile health technology are data security, a lack of technical interoperability, and cost. At the same time, while doctors think that over the longer term mHealth can save them time and money, they are not convinced that it is going to help them improve care, according to the survey.

Nevertheless, the message from MedData Group is clear: doctors ultimately believe that what is good for them is good for their patients, so the most effective marketing of mHealth technology should focus squarely on how to improve physicians’ lives.

"Doctors are open to adopting a wide variety of mHealth technologies, if they see a clear benefit," says MedData Group. "Notwithstanding their reputation in some quarters as change-resistant tech-phobes, the data indicate that they’re open to new tools that improve their work lives. But they’re skeptical that any particular technology will help them more than it costs them. Marketers should consider ROI metrics to demonstrate product value."  

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