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US doctors supportive of patients who track their health

But Manhattan Research study finds measurements used remain low-tech

Doctors are receptive to patients tracking data about their conditions and sharing these measurements with healthcare professionals, according to a new report.

Manhattan Research's new Taking the Pulse US study found that nearly three-quarters of the nearly 3,000 doctors they surveyed agreed that self-tracking leads to better patient outcomes.

James Avallone, director of physician research at Manhattan Research, said: “Self-tracking is already a part of the care paradigm and its prevalence is going to accelerate rapidly as digital connection, payment reform, and outcome-focused delivery make advances. 

“We are seeing physician attitudes toward self-tracking aligning with policy, which is encouraging for all stakeholders involved.” 

But despite the proliferation of health tracking apps and websites, Manhattan said patients primarily prefer low-tech methods when it comes to sharing health measures with healthcare professionals.

Most commonly patients are handwriting the data or giving the doctors a printout of their information.

Taking the Pulse US involved online surveyed during the first quarter of 2013 of 2,950 practicing physicians, across more than 25 specialties, in the US.

When it came to the extent to which patients are being more proactive about measuring their health Taking the Pulse found 70 per cent of doctors reported that at least one of their patients shares health measurement data with them.

A more comprehensive picture of the patient side of self-tracking in the US came earlier this year from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.

This found that 69 per cent of US adults tracks at least one health indicator, either for themselves or a loved one, but this research too found that few of those questioned used any form of technology.

This presents the pharma industry with a conundrum, with companies like Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and GE Healthcare, to name but a few, already offering technology for tracking, measuring and sharing healthcare information.

The solution may lay in an acknowledgement that, for now at least, while patient self-tracking is firmly in the mainstream, using technology to do so is still a niche pursuit.

24th April 2013

From: Healthcare

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