More doctors getting health news on iPhones

By Brian Dolan
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Dr. Scott Levy, VP and Chief Medical OfficerEmail-based medical news journal Bulletin Healthcare dug into its user data recently and found that three in ten of its healthcare professional readers access industry news from their mobile device. Between June 2010 and February 2011, mobile readership of Bulletin Healthcare’s daily email briefings rose 45 percent. Since the company's subscribers account for about half the practicing physicians in the U.S., the data seems pretty compelling that doctors really are firing up their smartphones to stay current on the latest health news.

The analysis also found that readers were most likely to be reading the news on their iPhones and iPads with the two devices combining to account for about 90 percent of mobile readership. Android devices came in at a distant third with about 6 percent of the readers. The company also saw the iPad numbers doubling over the last year, mainly taking away from the iPhone's still dominant lead. RIM's BlackBerry devices and Palm OS phones barely popped up on the user survey radar.

According to the study, physician assistants were most likely to be mobile readers with emergency room physicians coming next on the list. Cardiologists were the third most likely to use their mobile phone to access the healthcare news.

The increased popularity of the iPhone and iPad among doctors shouldn't come as a surprise. Last year, Manhattan Research reported that 72 percent of U.S. physicians were using PDAs and smartphones up from 64 percent the year before. (Manhattan is due to release updated numbers soon, we've heard.) Another metric that is often cited (although it has a much smaller sample size than Manhattan's 2,000+ survey) is Spyglass Consulting's physician survey. Of the more than 100 physicians surveyed by Spyglass in 2010, 94 percent said they were using smartphones to communicate, manage personal and business workflows, and access medical information. The same survey conducted in 2006 revealed only 59 percent of the physicians were using smartphones. Keep in mind, the iPhone didn't arrive on the scene until June 2007.

For more, including an extended breakdown by specialty, read the release.