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US doctors' use of iPads and smartphones 'evolving rapidly'

Manhattan Research says 85 per cent of physicians own or use a smartphone for professional purposes

Doctors' use of mobile devices like smartphones and Apple's iPad is firmly in the mainstream, according to new US figures.

Adoption of tablet devices by US physicians, for whom the iPad is the dominant platform, has nearly doubled since 2011, with 62 per cent of those surveyed saying they use one for professional purposes.

Half of those doctors who own a tablet have used their device at the point-of-care, Manhattan Research said.

“Physicians are evolving in ways we expected – only faster,” said Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan Research. “The skyrocketing adoption rates of tablets alone, especially iPads, means healthcare stakeholders should revisit many of their assumptions about reaching and engaging with this audience.”

Manhattan Research told PMLiVE they expect the iPad to continue its domination of the market over the next 12 months, and forecast two thirds of physicians will be using iPads professionally in 2013.

This probably puts US doctors ahead of their European counterparts when it comes to use of tablet devices. A similar study from Manhattan Research earlier this year found that 26 per cent of European doctors own an iPad.

Meanwhile, the use of smartphones is even more widespread in the US, with the research finding 85 per cent of US physicians own or use a smartphone for professional purposes.

Other figures released this week from a US online doctors-only community also highlighted physicians' use of smartphones. Championing the app it launched 10 months ago Sermo said nearly half (45 per cent) of its total website traffic comes from the Sermo Mobile app.

Other findings from Manhattan Research's latest US physician report included:

• A wider use of online video - more than two-thirds of physicians use video to learn and keep up-to-date with clinical information

• Physicians with three screens (tablets, smartphones and desktops/laptops) spend more time online on each device and go online more often during the workday than physicians with one or two screens.

The analysts also found no growth in the use of physician-only social networks by US doctors.

Adoption of physician-only social networks remained flat between 2011 and 2012 and, the analysts said, physicians more frequently contact, and are more influenced by, colleagues they formed relationships with at school or at work, than peers who they first connected with online. 

Manhattan Research's Taking the Pulse US 2012 study surveyed 3,015 US practicing physicians online in Q1 2012 across more than 25 specialties.

11th May 2012

From: Marketing

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