According to a survey conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, there is a significant communications gap between how much doctors say they are prescribing technology and how patients report that interaction. When it comes to self-tracking, 5% of consumers say their doctor has recommended an app to track activity and 4% report their doctor recommended they use a wearable to track activity. According to physicians, 52% said they recommend patients use mobile apps to track physical activity levels and 40% recommended patients use a wearable health monitor that helps track activity. Some of the difference could be explained by potential survey bias, if physicians who were prescribing this technology were also more likely to participate in the survey. Nevertheless, the delta between these two reported numbers is significant and very important.
According to another survey, three-quarters (76%) of patients listened to their physician’s recommendation to use wearable devices to track their health. With a follow through rate of 76%, the communication gap between patients and physicians results in a significant impact on individuals utilizing mobile health tools. As an alternative, employers can provide cogent communications that utilizes quality research from physicians on the benefits of health tracking. It probably won’t have an impact on 3 out of 4 people, but it will certainly get more users engaging with these tools. In the meantime, the Council of Accountable Physician Practices can start making efforts to improve physician communication.
Nielsen talked to 30,007 US consumers and 626 US physicians for the poll.