Eighty percent of patients would like the option to use their smartphones to interact with health care providers, according to a survey conducted by predictive analytics and decision management software specialist FICO.
The study found 56 percent of people worldwide trust health care organizations with personal data and indicated that while e-health records have yet to take off in many countries, innovations around mobile alerts and information services are helping to build the trust necessary for the trend to continue.
The survey of 2,239 adult smartphone users sampled in the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and the United States looked at consumer preferences and tendencies with regard to mobile, online and in-person interactions with health care providers.
In addition, 71 percent of smartphone users are open to offers of relevant health care services from businesses, and 53 percent are open to provider-initiated communications.
"Mail order pharmacies are checking customer orders via mobile applications, insurers are validating policy details and medical service providers are requesting feedback on the quality of their services or managing follow-up care," Stuart Wells, FICO’s chief product and technology officer, said in a statement. "Privacy is critically important and consumers are required to opt-in, but given the benefits of mobile technology in the health care field, that doesn’t appear to be an impediment to adoption. People are eager to have a dialog with their health care providers in ways that are convenient to them."
The survey also indicated the potential for mobile technology in health care ties in with another emerging trend–an increase in the use of alternative advice channels.
Almost two-thirds of smartphone users want to receive medical advice through digital channels instead of visiting a doctor.
"The way health care organizations communicate with people is changing, as individuals become more and more sophisticated about using information technology to make health-related decisions," Wells said. "People are especially interested in mobile services that can help them manage their personal health and shop for health care services. The leading health care providers are increasingly turning to mobile technologies to meet this demand, and to engage frequently and proactively with consumers."
The survey also showed that just over three-quarters (76 percent) of people worldwide would like to be reminded of their medical appointments, and 69 percent said they would like to receive reminders to arrange appointments or to prompt them to take their medication.