The survey, titled 2011 U.S. Survey of Health Care Consumers in the United States, shows that 61% of respondents would now be interested in using medical devices that would allow them to check their conditions and send the resulting information to their doctors electronically.
My initial thought when reading that particular result was that it must be skewed differently across age groups, with younger people being much more willing to transfer health care information electronically. However, that was not the case.
The survey broke the results down into four age categories (Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Seniors) and interest in the electronic transfer of health care information was roughly the same across all four groups.
Where the age groups differed was in their interest in using smart phones to access health care information. These results ranged from 72% positive responses for Generation Y to only 26% for seniors. Could this be just because most of the people they classify as seniors would not be users of smart phone technology?
The use of Personal Health Records (PHR) remains low, but it is at least growing. In 2008 a total of 9% of respondents replied that they maintained a PHR. That number has grown modestly to 11% in 2011.
Interestingly the group classified as seniors are more likely to maintain a PHR than any of the other three groups.
One statistic that I found encouraging is that 66% of respondents would consider switching to a physician who offered access to medical records through a secure Internet connection if their physician did not offer that capability.
For the past couple of years I have felt that we’re approaching a tipping point where consumers would begin to demand secure access to their electronic records and would begin voting with their feet when it became apparent that other providers were offering that type of access.
The Deloitte survey goes well beyond electronic technologies in health care and it is worth reading in its entirely to get a snapshot view of what Americans think of our health care system. You can get the report (it’s free and only 32 easily readable pages) here.
Photo By Asbestos Bill