A recently released report from Epocrates takes a closer look at the growing daily role of mobile communications in medicine and shows that nine in 10 health-care providers will use smartphones, and nearly as many will have adopted tablets, within the next year.
The report (.pdf) is based on a survey of 1,063 health-care providers conducted in May 2013. Respondents included: primary care practitioners, cardiologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Participants had an average experience of roughly 13 years and saw more than 300 patients during a typical month.
As discussed in the report, "digital omnivores" are driving the shift of work-related tasks to mobile devices:
Leading the charge of mobile technology integration in healthcare are digital omnivores, who utilize a tablet, smartphone and laptop/desktop computer routinely in a professional capacity. Using the 2012 Epocrates Mobile Trends Survey as a benchmark, there has been a 68% increase in digital omnivores in the last year, while 82% of healthcare professionals surveyed expect to utilize all three digital platforms within the next twelve months.
Digital omnivores, compared with general healthcare providers, use computers at about the same rate. However, they prefer mobile devices for all tasks, relying on them much more for communicating with colleagues, visiting
professional resources, email and reading journal articles than their peers, who use just one or two digital platforms for their work.
Previously: Reaching for the smartphone in the ICU, A conversation about smart-device use among resident physicians, Can the use of devices among physicians lead to “distracted doctoring?” and Report shows rapid adoption of mobile devices driving increase in social media use among doctors