Consumers adopting new health care technologies like Fitbits and DNA testing are way ahead of their primary care physicians, according to a new Zeldis Research and Schlesinger Group study, “The Consumerization of Health Care.”
For this study, patients and doctors were asked about consumer adoption of fitness and health wearables, remote monitoring, patient portals and other convenience products to maintain wellness. The study seeks to better understand how both consumers and physicians view the practice of consumers taking a greater role in managing their own health care.
The study found that consumers are excited about using wearables and apps to enhance their health information, but perceive their physicians–especially older practitioners–as naïve about technologies and, therefore, rarely share the results with their doctors. The majority of primary care physicians participating in the study said they welcome patient use of wearables and health apps but have limited experience with them and only occasionally ask patients about them.
Consumers are also eager to share consumer DNA test results with their caregivers as a way to adjust their lifestyles to offset discovered risks. But while physicians expect growing patient interest in wearables, health apps and consumer DNA tests, they are unsure how to incorporate the information into their patient care.
“Consumer health tech is disconnected from the health care system. Consumers use it and providers are happy they do. But consumers rarely share, it and providers rarely ask about it,” said Jeff Mann, Zeldis senior research director.
The interviews were conducted in July of 2018. A second, large-scale quantitative phase of the study will be conducted in Fall, 2018 with results expected by December 2018.