Mobile device use growing dramatically among doctors

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Mobile devices are quickly playing a larger role in the world of health care, and now doctors in particular are taking advantage of recent innovations. A new infographic released by mobile virtual network operator GreatCall showed 8 in 10 physicians use smartphones and medical apps, while more than one-quarter of doctors use mobile technology to provide patient care.

How can doctors benefit from mobile devices?
Being equipped with smartphones, tablets and laptops on the job can make physicians more efficient in their roles. For example, when low on certain equipment, doctors can use an iPhone inventory scanner to ensure an order will be placed in the near future, while tablets can feature a digital medical chart for patients that physicians can interact with and use to collaborate with others. In fact, according to a new report from mobile reference materials Epocrates, 47 percent of respondents use smartphones, tablets and PCs (See PDF below) when conducting patient care. The research gathered insights from 1,063 physicians and mid-level practitioners, which revealed the number of doctors who use all three platforms has increased 19 percent from the previous year.

"Proactive tasks like searching for clinical information and communicating with colleagues are key drivers of mobile activity on smartphones and tablets," said the report. "While the majority of charting and electronic health record (EHR) interaction is performed via laptop or desktop, nearly half of all clinicians who own a tablet commonly utilize it for EHR management and other clinical documentation."

Doctors see real value in mobile health
Mobile devices are taking over as the primary screen for physician, stated the Epocrates Mobile Trends Survey 2013, and it is because physicians believe smartphones and tablets can make health care more efficient. The GreatCall infographic found 4 in 10 doctors reported mobile health technologies can cut the number of times a patient visits, while 93 percent said mobile health apps can improve patients' health. By trusting these innovations, doctors are demonstrating that they are ready to make the switch to smartphone and tablet technologies.  

Adapting EHRs is the next step for physicians who are making the transition to mobile health. Reducing the number of paper records stored at their office can allow doctors to have digitized processes that make it easier to stay organized and meet the needs of more patients on a daily basis.