WebMD/Medscape Digital Technology Survey Reveals Unique Insights Into How Patients and Physicians Perceive the Role, Potential and Risks Associated with Digital Health Technologies

Download PDF

NEW YORK and SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today released the findings of a new WebMD/Medscape surveythat provide novel insights regarding physician and patient perspectives on health technology's role in aiding diagnosis and care.  Dr. Eric Topol, a leading authority in the fields of genomics and digital medicine, who serves as both Editor-in-Chief of Medscape and Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health, discussed the findings during his keynote address at the Health 2.0 conference earlier today.   

"While data show clear differences between patients and doctors in certain areas, most noticeably around who owns medical records, the two groups are coming ever closer in their embrace of new technology in medical practice," said Dr. Topol.  "There is a growing understanding among physicians that patients have greater access to care and cost information and that is giving them greater voice in the decision-making process."

The WebMD/Medscape survey of 1,102 patients and 1,406 healthcare professionals included 827 physicians. The survey revealed unique and often surprising perspectives about patients' and physicians' willingness to embrace the use of digital technology; their understanding of who owns and has rights to see medical records; expectations regarding access to information; and concerns about topics including data security and privacy.   Key findings from the survey include:

Consumers (84%) and doctors (69%) embrace technology to enhance and aide the diagnostic process

Patients (64%) and physicians (63%) agree that the smartphone can be a useful diagnostic tool in regard to blood tests

With regard to using a smartphone to perform other tests, such as eye and ear examinations in place of an office visit, nearly one half of patients would consider doing so, while only about one-third of doctors would be willing to accept information from patients' smartphones in place of office visits

There is overwhelming support among patients (96%) and physicians (96%) around a patient's right to see their lab and diagnostic test results

However, doctors feel that giving patients access to detailed electronic medical records could lead to anxiety about results (91%) and unnecessary requests for medical evaluations (84%), whereas patients feel that this access will allow them to better manage their health (93%)

Importantly, patients (58%) and doctors (77%) agree that doctors should review test results before sharing with patients

The majority of patients (58%) and doctors (60%) don't view privacy and security issues as barriers to using digital health technologies for communication, or for accessing and sharing electronic medical records

During his keynote address, Dr. Topol described the dawn of a new era: the democratization of medicine, which is being made possible by these digital health technologies, which are fundamentally changing the relationship between patients and physicians.

"Given WebMD's remarkable reach to consumers and Medscape's to healthcare professionals, this study yielded many surprising areas of alignment and discordance among patients and the clinicians that care for them," said Dr. Topol.

To view WebMD's and Medscape's coverage of the WebMD/Medscape Digital Technology Surveyvisit https://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/public/digital-medicine-report,   https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/831870, and https://www.webmd.com/news/20140922/doctors-patients-embrace-technology-medicine.

Survey Development & Methodology

WebMD Digital Technology Survey - Consumers
The WebMD survey of consumers was completed by 1,102 random WebMDsite visitors from August 20-27, 2014. All WebMD site visitors had an equal probability of answering the survey. The sample represents the WebMD.comonline population with a margin of error of +/- 2.99% at a 95% confidence level, using a point estimate (a statistic) of 50%.

Medscape Digital Technology Survey - Healthcare Professionals 
The Medscape survey of Healthcare Professionals was completed by 1,406 clinicians who are currently active on Medscape. The survey was fielded August 22, 2014, through September 8, 2014, via email invitation that included generalists and specialists. The occupations invited to respond were physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, and medical students. Those selected had been active on Medscape in the past 12 months. The margin of error for the entire sample is ± 2.65% at a 95% confidence level, using a point estimate (a statistic) of 50%; for the 827 physicians who responded, the margin of error is +/- 3.40%.

About WebMD and Medscape
WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms and health-focused publications.

The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, Medscape Education and other owned WebMD sites.

Medscape is the leading source of clinical news, health information and point-of-care tools for healthcare professionals. Medscape offers specialists, primary care physicians and other health professionals the most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools. Medscape Education (medscape.org) is the leading destination for continuous professional development, consisting of more than 30 specialty-focused destinations offering thousands of free C.M.E. and C.E. courses and other educational programs for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

WebMD®, Medscape®, CME Circle®, Medpulse®, eMedicine®, MedicineNet®, theheart.org® and RxList® are among the trademarks of WebMD Health Corp. or its subsidiaries.

All statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to be different than those described in or implied by such forward-looking statements, including risks and uncertainties regarding: competition for advertisers and sponsors for our public portals and mobile platforms; changes in financial markets; changes in economic, political or regulatory conditions or other trends affecting the healthcare, Internet and information technology industries. Further information about these matters can be found in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, we do not undertake any obligation to update our forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

SOURCE WebMD Health Corp.


News Provided by Acquire Media

by Acquire Media