Tablet adoption by docs soars

Physicians' use of devices and digital technology is evolving much faster than anticipated, especially when it comes to tablets, where adoption nearly doubled since 2011, according to a new study from healthcare market research and advisory firm Manhattan Research.

[See also: iPhone to dominate U.S. physician smartphone market ]

The study surveyed 3,015 U.S. practicing physicians online in Q1 2012 across more than 25 specialties.

Key findings from “Taking the Pulse U.S. 2012” include:

[See also: Smart mobile users tempted by Apple]

  • Tablets, mostly iPads, are mainstream: Physician tablet adoption for professional purposes almost doubled since 2011, reaching 62 percent in 2012, with the iPad being the dominant platform. Also, one-half of tablet-owning physicians have used their device at the point-of-care.
  • More screens, more access: Physicians with three screens (tablets, smartphones and desktops/laptops) spend more time online on each device and go online more often during the workday than physicians with one or two screens.
  • Physician-only social networks stagnant: Adoption of physician-only social networks remained flat between 2011 and 2012. The study found that physicians reach out more frequently to and are more influenced by colleagues they formed relationships with at school or at work than peers they first connected with online.
  • Online video widely used: More than two-thirds of physicians use video to learn and keep up-to-date with clinical information.

"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."