Young physicians will spearhead the use of mHealth technologies for a few reasons. The BYOD (bring your own device) to the healthcare workplace with use of these devices is greater among young physicians. They are more engaged in social media than older physicians. Mobile health technologies are discussed more in social and online media (utilized more by younger physicians) than mainstream media. In a recent survey by Jackson and Coker of Physicians in the UK, younger ones (graduating medical school in 2000 and later) were almost 50% more likely to appreciate the value of medical apps than older ones (graduating between 1960 and 1985).
Social media represent a vast opportunity for physicians to adopt mHealth technologies. Most physicians use social media for personal use, but professional use has lagged behind. This is in part due to physicians being unaware of the positive aspects of social media of as well as hesitancy because of potential pitfalls. The AMA has recently established and published professional guidelinesin the use of social media.
Social media is a place where mHealth technologies are a hot topic and therefore more prone to be seen, reviewed, and appreciated by younger physicians. While medicine changes slowly with regards to adoption of new treatments and technology, younger physicians today are taking more initiative in affecting positive changes in the arena. I look forward to having them become champions of technology which will be more efficient and less complex tools to engage, diagnose, and treat their patients.
David Lee Scher is a former cardiologist and a consultant at DLS Healthcare Consulting, LLC. He blogs at his self-titled site, David Lee Scher, MD.
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