A new report finds that two-thirds of physicians were using a smartphone in 2009, compared to 42 percent of the general population, data that has led the California HealthCare Foundation to say the rapid growth of smartphone use could positively impact health IT.
The report “How Smartphones are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers” notes that unlike any other HIT platform, the smartphone is an inexpensive handheld computer that enables users to accomplish tasks anywhere and anytime.
“It is so intuitive and user-friendly that most people can download and use the many available applications–or apps–without any training or special knowledge about computers,” the report said.
The smartphone offers healthcare providers a less cumbersome and less expensive alternative to other health IT formats. As of February 2010, there were 5,805 health, medical and fitness applications in the Apple AppStore. Of these, 73 percent were intended for use by consumer or patient end-users, and 27 percent were aimed toward healthcare providers, according to the report.