A survey conducted by WedMD and Medscape researchers revealed that doctors and patients are more open to using medical technology.
"While data shows clear differences between patients and doctors in certain areas, most noticeably around who owns medical records, the two groups are coming ever closer in their embrace of new technology in medical practice," said Dr. Eric Topol, Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape, in a press release.
The survey was based on the input from 827 doctors and 1,102 patients. The study aimed to identify issues such as the groups' take on digital technology, privacy and security of medical records and the extent to which any party can access information.
The results indicated that 69 percent of doctors and 84 percent of consumers are open to the idea of technology's application to medicine. About 63 percent of doctors and 64 percent of patients stated that smartphones can be a useful tool for blood tests.
Only one-third of the doctors agreed to use smartphones for eye and ear examinations, and suggested personal visits for these tests instead. Fifty percent of the patients overall agreed that smartphones could become beneficial for medical procedures.
The majority of the patients and doctors, a whopping 96 percent, believed that diagnostic and lab test results should be accessible to patients. But, 91 percent of doctors worried that allowing patients to see comprehensive medical records may result in anxiety and appeals for unnecessary medical tests. Patients, however, felt differently. Ninety three percent of them thought that having access to their records would give them more freedom in making decisions for their health.
Researchers believe that the survey results may signal the start of a transition into digital health innovations instead of relying on the same, traditional medical practices.
Dr. Topol presented the findings of the survey during his keynote speech delivered at the Health 2.0 Conference and can be read on WebMD.