Study Finds Physicians Are More Optimistic About Digital Health

A study recently published by the American Medical Association (AMA) research team has revealed rising rates of digital health use among physicians since 2016 and offers details on their expectations. Digital health provides a wide range of tools that can enhance medical treatment, facilitate lifestyle changes, and increase operational efficiency and includes technological advancements in mHealth, wearables, monitoring systems, applications, and telemedicine and telehealth. 

According to AMA, the survey’s objective was to learn more about physicians’ reasons for adopting digital health technology and their needs for doing so. It included responses from people of various ages and specializations. The researchers discovered a multitude of digital health trends. The first being an increase in the number of physicians who see a definite benefit in digital tools rising from 85 percent in 2016 to 93 percent in 2022, particularly for those aged aboved 51 years old. Physicians claimed improved clinical outcomes and work efficiencies as key factors for this. Other benefits include reduced stress and burnout, electronic health record integrations, and data privacy assurances. The survey also found that the adoption of remote care tools such as tele-visits and remote monitoring had seen the highest increase in use. Since 2019, the use of remote care tools tripled and remote monitoring efficiency almost doubled. In addition, researchers discovered that enthusiasm for virtual visits has increased significantly since 2019, while enthusiasm for most other digital solutions remained largely the same. Researchers noted physicians’ plans for adoption of emerging technologies is high. However, usage is low with nearly 1 in 5 currently using augmented intelligence for practice efficiencies. Despite this, nearly 3 in 5 physicians believe technology can most help key areas such as chronic disease patients and preventative care

The physician adoption rate of digital health tools has accelerated as physicians grow increasingly optimistic about the advantages that properly designed digital health tools can have for patient care if key requirements are met,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., MD. “The AMA survey illustrates the importance physicians place on validated digital health tools that improve health while streamlining the technological and administrative burdens faced each day in medicine. These technologies also must be designed and deployed in ways that advance health equity.