A survey of 3,015 physicians from more than 25 specialties indicated that 62 percent of doctors have adopted tablet computers for professional purposes as of the first quarter of 2012. The Taking the Pulse U.S. 2012 report, compiled by Manhattan Research, may have implications for physician marketing.
Taking the Pulse is an annual survey to gauge doctors' use of the internet, digital media and mobile devices. For the first quarter of 2012, researchers conducted an online survey of American physicians from various specialties, including primary care, pediatricians, cardiologists, oncologists, gastroenterologists and OB/GYNs.
Results showed that the adoption rate of tablet computers for professional purposes nearly doubled since 2011, with iPads being the most common product. About half of doctors who had tablets used them at the point of care.
The researchers also found that doctors who had three screens for computing - tablets, smartphones and desktop/laptop devices - tended to use the internet more than survey respondents who had only one or two screens. More than two-thirds of doctors watched video to keep up to date on the latest clinical practices.
When it came to social networking, the adoption rate between 2011 and 2012 remained unchanged. Furthermore, doctors who had social networking were more likely to communicate with colleagues they knew offline than they were to connect with fellow physicians they only met online.
"Physicians are evolving in ways we expected - only faster," said Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan Research. "The skyrocketing adoption rates of tablets alone, especially iPads, means healthcare stakeholders should revisit many of their assumptions about reaching and engaging with this audience."
Devices such as tablet computers and smartphones are changing the way that people use the internet. One survey from Digital Buzz suggested that by 2014, more individuals will access the web through a mobile device than a desktop computer.