Survey: 35 percent of US consumers say doctors are knowledgeable about digital health devices

By Aditi Pai
09:29 am
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Patients view physicians as more knowledgeable about digital health than physicians view themselves, according to a recent Ipsos survey of physicians, the general population, and people with diabetes in the UK and US. Ipsos' survey included responses for 200 US providers, 200 UK providers, 4,185 US consumers, 2,503 UK consumers, 416 people with Type 2 diabetes in the US, and 257 people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK.

Ipsos Healthcare Digital Lead Reena Sangar, who presented this data at the HIMSS Connected Health Conference this week, said that the survey found that, in the US, 35 percent of patients think doctors are knowledgeable about connected health devices, while 24 percent of doctors said they were knowledge about these devices and 42 percent of people with diabetes said doctors were knowledgeable about connected health devices.

"Perceptions are a lot stronger for those perceiving them to be knowledgeable compared to doctors themselves where you've got 10 to 12 percent difference, which is significant," Sangar said. "There’s definitely a knowledge gap. When we look at diabetes patients, these individuals are visiting doctors more frequently... They have co-morbidities, therefore they are much more revolving door individuals. They actually have a lot more confidence. They have more contact with their doctor and they are a lot more amenable to being advised." 

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The UK had similar results. While 24 percent of the general population perceive doctors to be knowledgeable about connected health devices, 12 percent of doctors perceived themselves as knowledgeable, and 30 percent of patients with diabetes perceive doctors to be knowledgeable.

Ipsos also surveyed consumers on whether they thought providers, health insurers, or pharmacists could influence them to adopt a digital health offering.

Some 45 percent of US respondents said they could be influenced by a doctor, followed by 31 percent who said they could be influenced by a health insurer, and 26 percent who said they could be influenced by a pharmacist. In the UK the percentages were slightly lower across all groups, but the general population also showed more trust in the pharmacist than in the health insurer. Some 47 percent in the UK said they could be influenced by a provider, 22 percent said they could be influenced by a health insurer, and 25 percent said they could be influenced by a pharmacist.

When all three populations in the UK and US were asked about digital health data accuracy, Ipsos found that people with diabetes were most confident in the accuracy of these devices.

In the US, 18 percent of providers said they believe digital health data is accurate, while 25 percent of the general population agreed with this and 32 percent of people with diabetes agreed. In the UK, 10 percent of providers said they agreed digital health data is accurate, 15 percent of the general population think the data is accurate, and 21 percent of people with diabetes said they felt the data is accurate.

About 40 percent of physicians in the US said they believe remote consultations are the future compared to 22 percent of physicians in the UK. And while 42 percent of providers in the US said they think it would be good if insurance companies offered reduced rates to members that track activity with wearables, only 22 percent of UK doctors in the UK agreed with this.

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