While doctors across the globe are discovering the power of the mobile internet for their professional use, only 15 per cent of Indian physicians perceive smartphones to be essential for their profession, according to a report by Research at Tavess.
The report said that though physicians in India are not intellectually immune and are rather appreciative of developments in mobile technology in the field of medicine, there is a lack of enthusiasm among the older generation, and among rural users.
One reason for this, the report said, is the low-level of comfort in using smartphones, which can be addressed with easy-to-understand-and-use interfaces and initiatives that give the users an opportunity to ‘try’ and get ‘educated’.
Tavess Research has also found that the number of healthcare institutions equipping physicians with smartphones is on the rise in North America with the trend slowly catching up in South East Asia, including in India, albeit at a slower pace.
This development is seen as a key element to leverage the potential of mobile technology in a holistic way. The major benefit that can be derived from it is seamless connectivity and communication between physicians and patients, among physicians and support departments, staff within and outside the organisation, which can keep the doctor ‘informed and up to date’.
In North America, mobiles are also used as a handy resource to access drug reference databases, treatment guidelines, clinical and medical references, product updates and medical news, the report added.
Even though the number of physicians around the world using smartphones for work is still very low Tavess expects this number to significantly rise in the coming years.
This holds good for urban markets across all three regions — North America, South East Asia and India.
Currently, Mobile PDR, Skyscape, Mobile Micromedex, Lexi-COMPLETE, Thomson Clinical Xpert, Mobile MerckMedicus and MDConsult Mobile are the most widely used drug reference resources on mobile.
On the app front WebMD, UpToDate, MDConsult Mobile, MedScape, etc. are apps most widely used by physicians.