Tablet use continues to increase among docs

Physician use of tablets has grown more than 75 percent in the past year, according to new findings from Manhattan Research published last week. The research company studied the mobile habits of more than 3,000 physicians in the first quarter of 2012, and compared those findings to the same period of 2011.

A full 62 percent of doctors are using tablets--Apple iPads still being the favorite--compared to only 35 percent a year ago, the study found.

Perhaps even more interesting: More than half of those physicians using tablets are employing them at the point of care.

Physicians are evolving in ways we expected--only faster," Monique Levy, Vice President of Research at Manhattan Research, said in a statement. "The skyrocketing adoption rates of tablets alone, especially iPads, means healthcare stakeholders should revisit many of their assumptions about reaching and engaging with this audience."

Levy made a bold prediction to eWeek, saying that 100 percent of physicians ultimately will adopt tablet computing. And other recent data may back her up. eWeek quoted a December 2011 survey by NPD Group that shows about 75 percent of small and midsize physician practices plan to buy tablets this year.

What's interesting here is that physicians still are using mobile devices largely as readers, looking up health information and clinical studies, researching symptoms and drugs, etc., eWeek reports. But far smaller numbers are actually using their mobile devices to access electronic health records or perform other clinical tasks.

One particularly intriguing finding: Physicians may complain about having to use multiple mobile devices--smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.--but they're using them.

To learn more:
- read the Manhattan Research announcement
- here's the eWeek report