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Report: Consumer use of healthcare technology trending upward

By: Nextech | October 14th, 2015

Report: Consumer use of healthcare technology trending upward Blog Feature

All this talk about EHR adoption, but consumers and patients aren't missing out on using healthcare technology either.Consumer_Healthcare_Technology

According to a report from The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 22 percent of consumers used technology to access, store and transmit health records in the last year, up from 13 percent in 2013.

Additionally, 32 percent of those with chronic conditions were utilizing healthcare technology, representing an increase from 19 percent in 2013.

Consumer engagement has been a point of emphasis within the healthcare realm in order to help improve outcomes and help patients make better, more informed decisions regarding their health. The findings from Deloitte's report convey there are three important areas of consumer engagement that are experiencing the biggest gains:

  1. Partnering with providers -- 34 percent of respondents "strongly believe that doctors should encourage patients to research and ask questions about their treatment."
  2. Tapping online resources -- 52 percent have searched online for health or care-related information. Additionally, scorecard use is on the rise with 25 percent of consumers claiming to have looked at performance of doctors, hospitals or health plans. Use among Millennials has increased 16 percent from 2013.
  3. Relying on technology -- Deloitte says in its report that use of technology to measure fitness and health improvement goals has grown from 17 percent to 28 percent since 2013.

While the gains in healthcare technology use from consumers is encouraging to see, it also represents a "challenging opportunity" according to Deloitte's report.

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"Organizations that figure out how to address their customers' needs for better informed and digital support may strengthen satisfaction and retention through increased engagement, while also enhancing the value of the services and the products they deliver," says the report.

Other key findings:

  • 63 percent of technology users surveyed say that utilizing health technologies has had a significant impact on their behavior
  • 21 percent of consumers survey say they have communicated with a provider using secure messaging, texting or email. 72 percent are interested in doing so.
  • 37 percent of Millennials surveyed report using social media for health purposes, up from 28 percent in 2013
  • 58 percent feel that doctors should explain treatment costs before decisions are made

For the full report, click here.