Friday, June 27, 2014

World - Smartphone users keen on healthcare alerts

Eighty percent of people would like the option to use their smartphones to interact with healthcare providers, results of a new global survey reveals.

The survey, conducted by predictive analytics and decision management software company FICO, also showed that 76% of people worldwide are keen to be reminded of their medical appointments and 69% would like to receive reminders to arrange appointments or to prompt them to take their medication.

“The way healthcare organizations communicate with people is changing, as individuals become more and more sophisticated about using information technology to make health-related decisions,” said Stuart Wells, FICO’s Chief Product and Technology Officer. “The leading health care providers are increasingly turning to mobile technologies to meet this demand, and to engage frequently and proactively with consumers.”

These organizations include government and private insurers, hospitals, pharmacies, mail-order drug companies, third party administrators and clinics.

The FICO survey likewise showed that 56% of people worldwide trust healthcare organizations with personal data. So while e-health records have yet to take off in many countries, simple innovations around mobile alerts and information services are helping to build the trust necessary for this trend to continue.

"Privacy is critically important and consumers are required to opt-in, but given the benefits of mobile technology in the health care field, that doesn’t appear to be an impediment to adoption. People are eager to have a dialog with their healthcare providers in ways that are convenient to them,” Dr. Wells said.

The potential for mobile technology in health care also ties in with another emerging trend – an increase in the use of alternative advice channels. Almost two-thirds of smartphone users want to receive medical advice through digital channels instead of visiting a doctor. In addition, 71% of smartphone users are open to offers of relevant healthcare services from businesses, and 53% are open to provider-initiated communications.

Health Innovation editors

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