The Expected Rise of the Digital Omnivore

Much like an omnivore in the animal kingdom consuming a variety of foods, a digital omnivore in the healthcare industry is a clinician regularly using a variety of digital tools in a professional setting, specifically the trifecta of a tablet, smartphones and computer, as defined by Epocrates, an athenahealth service.

According to the Epocrates 2014 Mobile Trends Report, the presence of digital omnivores has slightly fallen from 2013 to 2014, from 47 percent to 41 percent. However, the report predicts a surge in digital omnivores in 2015, up to 74 percent, as clinicians are reporting an overall increase in time spent using digital devices.

Additionally, non-clinician healthcare providers, such as retail and hospital pharmacists, are reporting an increase in mHealth and digital health usage, according to the report. 

Eighty percent of all pharmacists report using a smartphone in professional workflow, right on par with the 80 percent of all clinicians. Forty-four percent of pharmacists report using a tablet in professional workflow, again nearly matching the 45 percent of all clinicians.

Between hospital and retail pharmacists, hospital pharmacists are more likely than retail pharmacists to use both smartphones (82 percent vs. 78 percent) and tablets (62 percent vs. 27 percent).

Overall, pharmacists have a more positive view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's emphasis on technology to improve patient care, with 28 percent saying the focus on technology is a means to better patient care, compared to just 12 percent of physicians.

More Articles on mHealth Use:

5 Statistics on mHealth Usage 
Commonwealth Fund: Health IT Could Help US Catch Up to Other Countries in Healthcare Quality, Value 
8 Statistics on Providers' Use of Cloud Services 


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