NEW YORK – Consumer demand for digital health is driving a new model of care that is bringing together patients, doctors and technology, according to a recent Accenture survey.
The survey found that consumer use of mobile and tablet health apps has tripled over the past four years, from 16% in 2014 to 48% today. More than 40% of respondents also said they have accessed their electronic health records through a patient portal over the past year.
“Driven by experiences outside of healthcare, consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where and how they receive care services,” said Dr. Kaveh Safavi, global leader of Accenture’s health practice, in a statement. “By harnessing digital technologies in this way, health care will increasingly tap digital technologies to empower human judgment, free up clinician time and personalize care services to put control in the patients’ hands.”
The survey of 2,301 consumers in the United States also found that consumers are becoming more accepting of machines—ranging from artificial intelligence to virtual clinicians to home-based diagnostics. For example, one in five respondents said they have already used AI-powered health care services, and most said they are likely to use AI-enabled clinical services like home-based diagnostics, virtual health assistants and virtual nurses that monitor health conditions, medications and vital signs at home.
The survey found that the use of wearable devices by consumers has nearly quadrupled in the past four years, from 9% to 33% over the past three years. About three-fourths of health consumers view wearables as beneficial to understanding their health condition, engaging with their health and monitoring the health of a loved one.
“The more accustomed health care consumers become to using wearables and other smart technologies, the more open they are to sharing the personal health data these tools collect,” Dr. Safavi said.
The majority of health care consumers said they would use virtual care for a variety of activities, from e-medical visits to medical diagnosis and group therapy.