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by Dominic Tyer
And 43 per cent use a smartphone in their daily professional life
Almost one in five European doctors now uses an iPad or other tablet computer in their daily professional life, according to a new survey.
Medical publisher Elsevier questioned over 1,000 medical specialists across France, Italy, Spain and the UK and found that 19 per cent use tablets and that the devices are used in the clinic.
Presenting the findings at last week's Think Digital event, organised by Digitas Health, Elsevier Health Sciences' pharma director Peter de Jong said there was a clear rise in doctors' use of mobile devices.
These are led by smartphones, which 43 per cent of those questioned used, and de Jong said previous Elsevier research found Apple devices were “pretty much dominant across the board”.
He said that during consultations doctors were increasingly showing patients their treatment information on the iPad, as well as using the device to print out on-the-spot information.
The findings seem broadly in-line with a report on mobile devices from Manhattan Research which came out earlier this year and found 26 per cent of European physicians own an iPad.
Commenting on Elsevier's research de Jong added that there seemed to be an emerging trend among doctors for 'bluetoothing' information to a device the patient brings in, “but it's more at an experimental phase. We don't see that as much in daily practice, but anticipate this will replace giving handouts after consultations.”
The research also raised a point that de Jong admitted seemed to be contradictory given the rise and rise of mobile device.
“Availability on a mobile device is not necessarily physician's first choice. It is probably a nice-to-have, and ease of access backs that up,” he said.
“We do see that people who were commuting, in the larger metropolitan areas for instance, will continue to work [on mobile devices and] most of all on their smartphone.”
The email survey,which involved 1,093 doctors, confirmed that mobile devices, while used by a significant minority of European physicians, were some way behind laptops (used by 65 per cent of respondents) and shared PCs (53 per cent).
There was also some notable variation among the countries. Above average scores were seen in the UK, where 25 per cent of doctors use an iPad, and in France, where 66 per cent of those surveyed said they use a smartphone in their daily professional life.
And “virtually all physicians use online information for their profession”, the study concluded.