There is fast-growing interest in the use of healthcare technology among consumers, according to a new survey conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
The 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers, released last week, covered a broad spectrum of healthcare preferences and practices among consumers, including service selection and attitudes toward innovation, technology and insurance companies coverage. However, consumers desire for greater access to convenient medical technology and comfort with healthcare information technology services were prominent themes among the surveys participants, said Paul Keckley, executive director of the center.
According to the study, 33% of consumers research medication information online, while 22% use Web sites to research medical devices. Eighty-eight percent of consumers said they would be interested in using home-monitoring medical devices that provide remote information about their conditions to their doctors, particularly if it could save them an office visit. Two-thirds of consumers said they would like to use their doctors Web sites to access information about health conditions, quality of care and service prices, and 75% want to be able to schedule appointments online.
The survey also, among other things, debunks the myth that consumers believe use of the Internet for clinical transactions will lead to a loss of medical privacy and security. Seventy-eight percent of consumers indicated they were interested in going online to access medical records and test results, while 76% were interested in an integrated electronic medical record that would allow physicians to access their complete healthcare history during a care situation.
The study was conducted by online interviews between Sept. 10 and Sept. 23, 2007, of a nationally representative sample of 3,031 ethnically and financially diverse Americans between the ages of 18 and 75 about their healthcare behaviors.