The 'data-driven physician' is on the rise: Stanford Medicine report

In spite of the difficulties associated with implementing new technologies into healthcare, most physicians are not just open to disruption, but are readily embracing it by seeking tech training and launching data-driven initiatives, a new Stanford Medicine report finds.

More than 700 physicians, residents and medical students were surveyed for the Stanford, Calif.-based institution's 2020 Health Trends Report, revealing that the majority are actively preparing for and adapting to the ongoing technological transformation of healthcare delivery.

According to the survey, almost half of all physicians surveyed and 73 percent of medical students are pursuing additional training to prepare for health tech innovations. That training is reportedly clustered in the realm of data analytics, in subjects such as advanced statistics, genetic counseling, population health and coding.

Respondents also reported significant reliance on digitally gathered data to inform care: About 80 percent of physicians agreed self-reported data from patients' health apps and devices is clinically valuable, and more than 70 percent said they use data from their own wearable health monitoring devices to make decisions about their personal health.

"We found that current and future physicians are not only open to new technologies but are actively seeking training in subjects such as data science to enhance care for their patients," Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a statement. "We are encouraged by these findings and the opportunity they present to improve patient outcomes. At the same time, we must be clear-eyed about the challenges that may stymie progress."

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