Are doctors overburdened by data?

health data

It doesn’t take Clouseau to work out that the relationship between doctors and their patients is changing. Patients, armed with data from their mobile health apps, are demanding more of health professionals - and this is challenging already overburdened GPs to raise their game.

New US research by PwC reveals, however, that, while consumer trust in mobile healthcare apps is growing, their confidence in physicians is at an all-time low. As they rely more on these tools, are they relying less on the robust insights and expertise of medical professionals? The study would suggest that this is probably so.

A sea-change in patient care

According to PwC’s Health Research Institute’s annual report, 32% of US consumers have at least one health app on their mobile devices (up 16% since 2013). And, though 88% of consumers are willing to share personal data with their doctors to find new treatments - which could create opportunities, richer conversations and lead to more accurate diagnoses and more personalised care - doctors, now spending more time on administrative tasks than with patients, neither have the time nor the expertise to do anything with it.

 “Physicians are overwhelmed with all of the data being brought to them,” says Iana Simeonov from the US Public Health Institute. ”It’s difficult when you have 100 different patients coming to you with the physical print out of their data from their wearable or want you to look at their notes and app. There’s simply not much the clinicians can do other than to encourage them to keep doing it themselves.”

A challenge in collaboration

So, what will it take to bring doctors into the healthcare app ecosystem? Healthcare providers and digital partners must create IT infrastructures that enable physicians to easily collect, analyse and share mobile data. Otherwise, doctors will continue basing treatment plans on one set of data, while patients diagnose and manage their health based on another. As the data gap grows, so will the communication gap between the doctor and the patient - and that prognosis doesn’t benefit anyone!

View the article in full here - Do Patients Rely on Mobile Healthcare Apps More Than Their Doctors?