Tech is Becoming a Standard Practice for Medical ProfessionalsBy MBN Staff | Tue, 09/27/2022 - 17:27
A study carried out by Funsalud and Central Media on the use of health technologies in Mexico revealed that 98 percent of physicians use mobile devices several times a day in their medical practice. This demonstrates the increased adoption of technology by the medical field, which is inching closer to its standardization in physicians’ activities.
While common practices such as email is the primary digital tool used by physicians, many are increasingly adopting more advanced tools such as digital medical apps and electronic clinical records, which present an average use of 59 percent and 64 percent among medical professionals, respectively.
Instant message services are also widely used in medical practice and are used several times a day by about 88 percent of those surveyed, according to the study. These tools are also the primary tools used to contact the patient. Medical professionals are also turning to tools to access relevant medical information to improve their practice (used by 69 percent) and to research for proper prescription (used by 59 percent).
The integration of technology as a standard practice of health services could address the country’s limited access to general health services. According to OECD, Mexico is located in 34th place in doctors available per 1,000 inhabitants, out of its 37 members. Mexico is also in last place in hospital beds available per 1,000 inhabitants and in 35th place in percentage of GDP used to finance health care.
“These trends, if addressed with the current care model, will require an excessively large number of personnel, infrastructure and health supplies, something that will be unsustainable for any government,” said José Alarcon Irigoyen, Partner, PwC. Under the current model, the system would require an additional 3.5 million hospital beds, 3 million more doctors and 6 million more nurses. The digitalization of health services, explained Alarcón, would create a more cost-effective model to achieve the desired care for patients.
“We need to move towards homecare models in terms of therapy and recovery, mobile health (mHealth) and preventive health,” said Alarcon. This, he adds, will greatly reduce the amount of personnel required and the general investment necessary for the sector. Instead of requiring an investment of US$245 billion, only US$156 billion will be required, explained Alarcon.
Based on the data obtained by Funsalud and Central Media, patients are also increasingly engaging with technology. The study reported that 35 percent of patients look up medical information prior to meeting their doctor and 44 percent of respondents said that this engagement with quality information has influenced the dynamic of the consultation.