News Feature | July 18, 2014

3 Of 4 Patients Want Digital Health

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Digital Health Access

A recent poll finds patients want to use digital health services and, if they aren’t, it’s because of the poor quality of ones offered to them.

A recent survey by McKinsey Health asked 1,000 residents of Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom about their digital health preferences. MobiHealth News reports that 75 percent of those surveyed wanted to use digital health services in one form or another.

McKinsey analysts Stefan Biesdorf and Florian Niedermann write in a blog post that patients often wanted digital services for “mundane” tasks. “Surprisingly, across the globe, most people want the same thing: assistance with routine tasks and navigating the often-complex healthcare system.

“In Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, for example - three very different countries with three very different health systems - patients most often cite ‘finding and scheduling physician appointments’ as the service with which they need assistance. Other commonly cited needs include help selecting the right specialist and support for repetitive administrative tasks such as prescription refills. What most of these services have in common is that they do not require massive IT investments to get started.”

iBeat Health reports, in addition to discovering the majority of patients want digital health services, respondents also indicated the following:

  • patients of all ages "are more than willing to use" digital health services, further evidenced by a recent survey on emailing in which doctors found all age groups participated - from Baby Boomers to Millennials
  • requests for mobile health technology are "not universal" and therefore such technology is "not the single critical factor" driving digital health services
  • awareness and process demonstration are the "core drivers" for patient adoption of digital health services
  • it is better for vendors to "start small and act fast" when implementing digital health services, rather than building a comprehensive platform

Patients are definitely interested in digital health. According to the bloggers, “The reason patients are slow to adopt digital healthcare is primarily because existing services don’t meet their needs or because they are of poor quality.”