Physicians report self-tracking is popular, positive

Seventy percent of physicians report their patients are embracing self-tracking, with at least one of their patients sharing health measurement data with them, according to a new study from healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research.

The technology used to share the health measurements is still relatively low-tech, with the most common forms being handwritten or printed data given to the physician. The study surveyed 2,950 U.S. practicing physicians online across more than 25 specialties, an announcement from Manhattan Research states.

Of the physicians surveyed, nearly three-quarters agreed that self-tracking leads to better outcomes.

"Self-tracking is already a part of the care paradigm and its prevalence is going to accelerate rapidly as digital connection, payment reform, and outcome-focused delivery make advances," James Avallone, Director of Physician Research at Manhattan Research said in a statement. "We are seeing physician attitudes toward self-tracking aligning with policy, which is encouraging for all stakeholders involved." 

For mobile healthcare, self-reporting and monitoring has been found effective in managing chronic pain, among other uses. In a February study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, participants received their smartphone diary entries daily to support their awareness of and reflection on pain-related thoughts, feelings and activities. The diaries were immediately available to a therapist who submitted personalized written feedback daily based on cognitive behavioral principles.

Self-tracking has increased in popularity in the past few decades, and now more so than ever with the advent of self-monitoring mobile applications. For self-tracking to be effective it must be a valid and accurate measurement, have informed interpretation, and elicit effective action that can be taken in response, wrote Professor Paul Glasziou of the University of Oxford and author of "Evidence-Based Medical Monitoring" in Scientific American.

To learn more:
- read the announcement from Manhattan Research

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