Democratization of Medicine Discussed at Health 2.0   WebMD mobile health news mHealth Health 2.0


September 23, 2014

On Monday, during his Health 2.0 keynote address, Dr. Eric Topol — Editor-in-Chief of Medscape and Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health – drew attention to what he calls the democratization of medicine (i.e.., cutting edge digital health technologies impacting the relationship between patients and their physicians).

Leading to the most buzz, however, was Dr. Topol’s unveiling of key findings from a new WebMD/Medscape survey of patients and healthcare professionals.

The WebMD/Medscape survey, say those behind the report’s composition, reveals “unique and often surprising perspectives” about patients’ and physicians’ willingness to embrace the use of digital technology.

“While data show clear differences between patients and doctors in certain areas, most noticeably around who owns medical records, the two groups are coming ever closer in their embrace of new technology in medical practice,” said Dr. Topol.

According to a summary of key stats provided to mHealthWatch, some of the standout insights include:

  • Consumers (84%) and doctors (69%) embrace technology to enhance and aide the diagnostic process
  • Patients (64%) and physicians (63%) agree that the smartphone can be a useful diagnostic tool in regard to blood tests
  • With regard to using a smartphone to perform other tests, such as eye and ear examinations in place of an office visit, nearly one half of patients would consider doing so, while only about one-third of doctors would be willing to accept information from patients’ smartphones in place of office visits
  • There is overwhelming support among patients (96%) and physicians (96%) around a patient’s right to see their lab and diagnostic test results

“Given WebMD’s remarkable reach to consumers and Medscape’s to healthcare professionals, this study yielded many surprising areas of alignment and discordance among patients and the clinicians that care for them,” said Dr. Topol.

To learn more about the survey and its fascinating findings, click here.


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