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Message: INDUSTRY BULLETIN: Current And Future Doctors Are More Than Ready to Use mHealth Wearables

A Stanford Medicine survey finds that doctors, residents and medical students are finding value in data drawn from mHealth wearables - and they're using them as well. But they aren't getting the training they need or want.

 

January 14, 2020 - Current and future physicians are eager to use self-reported data from patients with mHealth wearables – in fact, they’re using wearables themselves to track health concerns.

That’s one takeaway from Stanford Medicine’s 2020 Health Trends Report, which finds that physicians are ready to use mHealth and telehealth tools even if they aren’t getting the right training to use new technology. Instead, they’re looking for the help they need to apply connected health concepts to healthcare.

“We found that current and future physicians are not only open to new technologies but are actively seeking training in subjects such as data science to enhance care for their patients,” Lloyd Minor, MD, Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a press release. “We are encouraged by these findings and the opportunity they present to improve patient outcomes. At the same time, we must be clear-eyed about the challenges that may stymie progress.”

The survey shows an eagerness among those practicing medicine (or getting ready to enter the field) to use connected health technology, including consumer-facing mHealth wearables, even as questions remain on their reliability and some payers are reluctant to cover their use.

According to the survey, which gathered the thoughts of more than 700 physicians, residents and medical students around the country, 83 percent of physicians and 79 percent of students and residents see value in self-reported data from patients using wearables. Almost 80 percent say that data holds value in clinical care management.

And they know from experience. Roughly half of those surveyed are using wearables, with 60 percent of students and residents and 71 percent of physicians saying they use digital health data to inform their own health decisions.

That said, those surveyed don’t think they’re getting the right training on how to use the technology.

Only 18 percent of students and residents said the education they’re now getting is “very helpful,” while 44 percent of physicians said their training was either “not very helpful” or “not helpful at all.” This should put pressure on teaching hospitals to improve curricula and training programs.

It’s also compelling current and future physicians to find new sources of information to prepare them for a digital health workplace – at a time when stress and burnout is high in the medical ranks.

According to the survey, 73 percent of medical students and 47 percent of physicians are seeking additional training, primarily in how to use digital health data. Roughly a third are looking for help on how to use artificial intelligence tools.

“The rise of the data-driven physician represents an opportunity to positively transform medicine and improve health outcomes by bringing new technologies and insights to the patient bedside,” Stanford Medicine officials said in the press release. “However, as it stands today, medical professionals still feel insufficiently trained to do so. Moreover, promising medical talent is being held back by challenges such as achieving work-life balance and student debt.”

Source: https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/current-and-future-doctors-are-more-than-ready-to-use-mhealth-wearables

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