Study: 80 percent of doctors in China have smartphones

By Brian Dolan
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physician ipadManhattan Research, a division of Decision Resources Group, released a few topline findings from its annual Taking the Pulse Global study this week, including that 80 percent of physicians in China now own or use smartphones for professional purposes. That puts China's doctors almost on par with those in the US in terms of smartphone usage.

The study also found that now more than 75 percent of doctors in Brazil say they have been visited by a pharma rep or medical device rep who used a tablet as part of their pitch, but the researchers found that despite the technology's wider deployment, physicians in that country have low satisfaction when it comes to these pharma rep visits.

A few weeks ago Manhattan's Director of Physician Research James Avallone told MobiHealthNews that his team was confident that smartphone adoption among physicians in the US had plateaued. 

“We have seen this number in the low 80s since 2011 — it’s been static,” Avallone said. “In 2010 we were at 72 percent of [US] physicians and then the following year we hit four out of five. Since then it’s really plateaued at a low- to mid-80 number in terms of physicians using it for professional purposes.”

Avallone also noted that many physicians have found uses for tablets, smartphones, and computers.

“We have seen over the past three years how smartphones and tablets cohabitate, which they do very well, by the way,” he said at the time. “We’ve also seen the smartphone become much more of a solid physician accompaniment throughout the course of the work day. It has really cemented itself with its own professional profile of how physicians are using it.”

According to Manhattan's most recent global report, physicians in only three countries favor smartphones over tablets or computers for digital interactions with pharma reps: China, India, and Mexico. For most other markets Manhattan recommends pharma companies and others looking to connect with physicians to develop tablet-focused offerings or digital content intended for desktops or laptops.