More physicians than ever before are recognizing digital health tools as an advantage for driving efficiency and safety in healthcare while also reducing provider burden, according to a recent study from the American Medical Association (AMA).
The AMA first evaluated health technology integration into clinical practices back in 2016. Since then, digital health tools have grown significantly and shown no sign of slowing down.
One-third of physicians intend to adopt emerging technologies within the year.
Eighty-seven percent of physicians reported at least some advantage in digital health tools.
And the percentage of physicians who failed to see any advantage is trending downwards.
“The rise of the digital-native physician will have a profound impact on healthcare and patient outcomes, and will place digital health technologies under pressure to perform according to higher expectations,” Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, board chair of the AMA, explained in a press release.
Physicians are attracted to digital health because they allow them to provide care remotely and help to reduce provider stress and burn out. Improved efficiency and increased patient safety are vital for value-based care.
But liability coverage is the most important requirement for physician adoption of digital health tools, the study said, with electronic medical record (EHR) integration and data privacy following close behind.
AMA mentioned key drivers in the shift to digital healthcare including adoption trends in telehealth visits, remote patient monitoring, remote monitoring for efficiency, clinical decision support, patient engagement, point of care, and consumer access to clinical data.
Although the use of all the digital tools included in the survey increased, physician adoption of telehealth visits saw the greatest increase, doubling from 14 percent in 2016 to 28 percent in 2019. This category included audio and video connections used to care for home-bound patients.