Providers Becoming More Open to Digital Health Technology Use

Clinicians are showing increased openness toward using digital technology and are becoming more comfortable with trusting tools like at-home test results, according to a new report from PwC's Health Research Institute.

Clinicians are showing increased openness toward using digital technology and are becoming more comfortable with trusting tools like at-home test results, according to a new report from PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI).

The Healthcare delivery of the future: How digital technology can bridge the gap of time and distance between clinicians and consumers report reveals a shift in attitude among clinicians regarding technology and that healthcare leaders are anticipating major changes in how care is delivered as a result.

“Digitally-enabled care is no longer nice-to-have, it’s fundamental for delivering high-quality care,” Daniel Garrett, health information technology practice leader at PwC US, said in a statement. “Just as the banking and retail sectors today use data and technology to improve efficiency, raise quality, and expand services, healthcare must either do the same or lose patients to their competitors who do so.”

The HRI survey of 1000 industry leaders, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants found they share similar views with consumers on digital technology use in healthcare.

Half of physicians said e-visits could replace more than 10% of in-office patient visits, and nearly as many consumers indicate they would communicate online with clinicians. While just over a quarter of patients have healthcare, wellness, or medical apps on their mobile devices, roughly two-thirds of physicians would prescribe an app to help patients manage chronic diseases. Furthermore, 42% of physicians are comfortable relying on at-home test results to prescribe medication.

The HRI report recommends healthcare companies generate actionable insights through analytics to yield better outcomes, use the increasing amounts of data to rethink the workforce and workflows, and target digital interventions for where they make the most sense.

"The adoption and integration of digital technology with existing healthcare processes has not yet fulfilled its potential to transform care and value for patients," Simon Samaha, MD, principal at PwC, said in a statement. "The next 5 years will be critical, with leaders emerging from those who use digital technology to innovate and revamp the interactions between consumers, providers and payers."