Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
“Medicine has come a long way.” That may be the biggest understatement of all time, but in 2021 it seems a particularly poignant sentiment as the COVID pandemic of 2020 brought about massive changes to how we view, give, and receive medical care. Look back just 60 or so years ago and house calls were still a common occurrence, but today we have as little person-to-person contact as possible. In fact, some things, such as COVID tests, are happening in a drive-through setting where we literally never get out of our vehicles to interact with medical teams. It might seem like this “isolationism” might make it more difficult to get information about our health; from discussing symptoms we’re experiencing, to having meaningful conversations with healthcare providers about treatments we are considering. However, in this day of social distancing, digital health is actually making it easier than ever for both patients and doctors to connect and to gain access to information.
In a post-pandemic survey of 500 doctors, 80% of physicians reported use of digital health technology in their personal and/or professional lives. The majority (62%) take advantage of health apps for personal use and 57% also recommend them to their patients. Many doctors are also recommending digital health devices such as smartwatches, fitness wearables, smart gym equipment, and disease related devices to their patients, as well as using them personally. Doctors are also using healthcare websites such as UpToDate (74%), Sermo (69%), and WebMD (69%), to gather information. Physicians are also no strangers to social media, with many of them using social sites to communicate with other physicians, share videos with patients, post updates and repost messages for professional use. Over 1 in 4 doctors are high adopters of digital health technology as they believe it will improve patient care.
Doctors aren’t the only ones who believe digital health will improve medical outcomes. One-thousand patients were included in the same post-pandemic survey and the vast majority had a very favorable opinion of the advantages of digital health technology. Seventy-one percent report that digital health tech was helping them to manage their own health and 63% believe it improves interactions with physicians.
Both doctors and patients agree that the use of digital health technology is only going to increase and that big changes are still on the horizon. It’s important for everyone, from the healthcare community, to pharmaceutical companies, to patients, to be aware and to be involved in health tech development so that we can build a system that not only functions, but also improves how we manage healthcare in the future.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked