U.S. Adults Want Doctors To Adopt New Technologies

An online survey found that enthusiasm for new medical technologies exists despite the fact that few of the respondents had actually experienced these advancements.
Most U.S. adults favor their doctors adopting new technologies in their practices, believing that the latest advancements will either reduce the cost or improve the quality of medical care, a research firm said Friday.

The enthusiasm for new medical technologies, such as electronic medical records and digital imaging equipment, comes despite only a minority of U.S. adults having actually experienced the advancements, Harris Interactive found in an online survey of more than 2,000 people.

Only 16 percent of the respondents reported that their doctor used an electronic medical record to capture their medical information, and only 14 percent said their physician used a personal digital device or a hand-held computer to record information. Even fewer, 5 percent, said they had experience with a home monitoring device that allowed them to send medical information, such as blood pressure readings or blood tests, to their doctor’s office via the telephone or e-mail.

Nevertheless, at least three quarters of the adults were either "strongly" or "somewhat" in favor of having doctors use these types of technologies. In addition, 7 in 10 said they favored the use of internal imaging to capture characteristics of patients' internal anatomy and use the information to identify them before releasing or using medical records.

The majority of respondents believed the new technologies provided value. Only 1 in 10 believed the advancements cost more money than they were worth, and an additional 23 percent said they weren't sure.

The Harris poll was conducted during the first week of October for The Wall Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition.

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer