Survey sheds light on physician expectations for integrating health tech into clinical practice

CHICAGO — Physicians are optimistic about digital health innovation and its game-changing potential to benefit medicine, according to a new survey released today by the American Medical Association (AMA). While there is broad-based optimism, physicians tell the AMA there are “must-haves” that digital health tools need to turn their enthusiasm into adoption.

The physician survey was conceived by AMA and conducted by Kantar TNS, one of the world’s largest research agencies, to investigate physician motivations, current usage and expectations for integrating digital health tools into their practices. The survey of 1,300 physicians was administered from July 7-18, and covers a broad range of digital health tools, including telemedicine and telehealth, mobile health, wearable, remote monitoring, mobile applications (apps), and others.

Among the key findings, the physician survey showed:

  • There is a sense of enthusiasm among physicians for digital health, with broad-based optimism common among physicians of all age groups, practice settings and tenures. While the level of enthusiasm exceeds current adoption rates, physicians expect to use more digital health tools in the near future.
  • Physicians overwhelmingly see potential for digital health to favorably impact patient care, with 85 percent of those surveyed saying that digital health solutions are advantageous to patient care.
  • Physicians are also optimistic that digital health has potential for improving practice efficiencies, patient safety and diagnostic ability, while reducing burnout.
  • Physicians rated the following elements as most important for adoption of digital health tools: liability coverage, data privacy and workflow integration with electronic medical record (EHR) systems. Physicians also look for tools that are easy to use and proven to be effective.

Physicians have reason for great optimism in the future of digital health as the AMA helps physicians take on a greater role in leading changes that will move technological innovations forward.

“The AMA is dedicated to shaping a future when digital health tools are evidence based, validated, interoperable, and actionable,” said AMA Immediate Past President Steven J. Stack, M.D. “To make this prospect a reality in the near-term, the AMA is ensuring that physicians play a greater role in leading digital health innovations that expand the bounds of science, enhance patient care, shape a better health care system, and improve the health of the nation.”

Recent AMA efforts to advance digital health innovation that is patient-centered, evidence based, interoperable and outcomes focused, include:

  • The founding partner to Health2047, a San Francisco-based health care innovation company that combines strategy, design and venture disciplines, working in partnership with leading companies, physicians and entrepreneurs to improve health care.
  • An expanded partnership with MATTER, Chicago's health care technology incubator, to allow entrepreneurs and physicians to collaborate on the development of new technologies, services and products in a simulated health care environment.
  • A collaboration with IDEA Labs, a student-run biotechnology incubator, that helps inspire and support the next generation of young entrepreneurs to tackle unmet needs in healthcare delivery and clinical medicine.
  • An advisory role to the SMART project, which was created to ensure EHR systems work better for physicians and patients. A key component of this effort is the development of a flexible information infrastructure that allows for free, open development of plug and play apps to increase interoperability among health care technologies, including EHRs, in a more cost-effective way.
  • A partnership with Omada Health and Intermountain Healthcare that has introduced evidence-based, technology-enabled care models that are key to addressing the more than 86 million Americans who currently have prediabetes.

Through its ongoing work to shape and support digital health innovation, the AMA is providing opportunities for physicians to engage in innovation and share their ideas, expertise and real-world perspective on the effectiveness of technology in medical practice settings. From revitalizing medical practices to ensuring that digital health helps provide high-quality patient care, the AMA is striving to help physicians navigate and succeed in a continually evolving health care environment.

Learn more about the AMA’s efforts to improve key digital health areas by visiting our advocacy website.

Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

ph: (312) 464-5970

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years.