Healthcare Providers: Invaluable Driver for Mobile Health Product Adoption

Jun 18, 2015, 15:30 ET from MedPanel, LLC

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to responses from 415 U.S. physicians surveyed by MedPanel, physicians are discussing wearables or health apps with 15% of their patients on average. This figure starkly contrasts with the number of potential candidates: physicians say 38% of patients not using a wearable and 42% of patients not using an app could benefit from doing so. "As long as tech companies view wearables and apps as consumer-driven markets, these products will remain a fad," says MedPanel President Jason LaBonte, "But if they engage physicians to recommend these products, wearables and apps will be viewed as part of healthcare and become permanent fixtures."

MedPanel announces the release of three new reports: "Physician recommendations of personal health wearables and apps: a channel to drive consumer adoption" and accompanying Nurse and Pharmacist reports.

The Apple Watch is the brand most physicians (82%) are aware of. However, given its longer time on the market, it's no surprise that physicians are most familiar with Fitbit, by a 2 to 1 margin. The report shows that there's still plenty of room for improvement or for new competitors. Physicians are on average only mildly satisfied with current products. In fact, the Microsoft Band scores the highest of all wearables for satisfaction on the two attributes physicians say are most important: ease of use and the clinical utility of data the devices generate.

Marketing professionals can target potential customers by understanding what healthcare providers (HCPs) seek in the apps and wearables they recommend. Physicians say that the ability to integrate mobile health data directly into EHR systems is one of the top product improvements that could convince them to make a recommendation. Companies entering this space should also understand that there are key influencers of adoption beyond the physician, such as payers (e.g. health insurance companies) and practice managers. Of all product attributes measured by MedPanel, physicians are least satisfied with the ability of products to help them meet mandates set by payers and practice managers.

MedPanel Research Manager Amy Zalatan comments "Mobile health devices and apps are increasingly seen as an essential tool to empower patients to manage their health. HCPs are taking notice of their clinical value and could become a valuable marketing channel." MedPanel's reports also uncover the most fertile segments within HCPs for marketing opportunities: pharmacists are two times more likely to discuss apps than wearables with patients, and physicians at accountable care organizations (ACOs) are more than twice as likely to discuss wearables or apps compared to physicians not part of an ACO.

About MedPanel:

MedPanel has conducted market research in healthcare for 15 years, and has cultivated an extensive community of expert physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and hospital executives to provide the information our clients need to understand their markets. MedPanel helps its clients make better decisions at every stage of the product life cycle. Visit MedPanel at

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Brittany Smith