New SOTI Survey Finds Patients More Likely to Visit Their Doctor by Booking Appointments Using Mobile Technology
With the number of mobile phone users reaching 4.8 billion worldwide, today’s consumers use their mobile devices for nearly everything. From personal banking to trip planning, consumers are provided with quick and easy access to apps for completing life’s most critical tasks. However, similar access to healthcare services has been lacking. For healthcare providers to make a more meaningful connection with patients, the implementation of mobile apps that meet consumer needs is crucial.
According to a new survey conducted by SOTI – the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions – more than half of U.S. physicians (57%), offer their patients a mobile app to schedule appointments, access personal healthcare information, view lab results and more.
While these mobile apps provide patients with speed and convenience at their fingertips, for healthcare providers, the most beneficial aspect of these mobile apps is that nearly half (46%) of all patients are more likely to schedule follow-up visits, leading to healthier patients, more revenue and earlier detection of diseases like cancer and heart disease. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) cites early detection as key for successful treatment and survival, making regular doctor’s visits all the more important for patients and physicians alike.
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“For years, physicians have struggled to ensure that their patients followed their prescribed medical guidance and scheduled follow-up appointments. Neglecting to follow up on appointments can be detrimental to patients’ health,” said Ryan Webber, Vice President of Enterprise Mobility, SOTI. “At SOTI, we find that in order to keep pace with changing consumer expectations and enhance the patient experience, physicians must innovate by integrating mobile technology into their practice. For example, providing access to tablets at the reception desk for patient sign-in and apps for scheduling appointments and other key functions. Mobile technology is increasingly becoming ‘business-critical’ for the healthcare community.”
Physician Mobile Apps Offer Patients 24/7 Access and Convenience
SOTI’s consumer survey, which looked at patients across the U.S. and their mobile app usage, found that a staggering 75% of patients indicated that physicians who integrate mobile technology within their practice provide a faster and more convenient healthcare experience. In addition, the survey results revealed:
- 54% of patients believe physicians who leverage mobile technology cut down on physician wait times
- 57% of respondents say they prefer to communicate with physicians and office staff through mobile apps vs. calling the doctor’s office directly
Furthermore, when consumers were surveyed on what they use mobile apps for, the top three functions included:
- Scheduling appointments (70%)
- Viewing lab results (52%)
- Requesting prescriptions (40%)
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Mobile App Adoption Still Has Barriers
While mobile technology is helping to reduce administrative tasks and streamline correspondence between patients and physicians, patients still value face time with their doctors, with 67% of respondents preferring in-office visits over telehealth services.
The survey also revealed that mobile security is a top concern for patients. SOTI found that 40% of patients are very concerned about the potential for data breaches, while 43% are somewhat concerned. Overwhelmingly, nearly 80% of patients believe that the onus should be on physicians to protect their confidential healthcare data.
Webber continued, “Healthcare providers need to invest in platforms that provide an integrated mobile experience – from the ability to easily and cost-effectively build patient-facing mobile apps and streamline processes, to reassuring patients that their personal healthcare information is safe and secure.”
“This survey reinforces the fact that mobility is modernizing patient experiences and enabling the future of healthcare,” Webber adds. “There are endless possibilities to leverage a diverse range of mobile and IoT devices to reinvent healthcare and improve patient follow-up rates, reduce physician wait times and enable a faster and more efficient experience for patients.”