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Physician Barriers to Digital Health Adaptation

Gurpreet K. Padam MD, FAAFP

I was intrigued to see several innovators who presented their products at the most recent InnovatorMD Global Summit. Listening to the presenters, my parallel thought process was, “does this product help or further divide the already #fragmented care the #elderly and the #homebound patients receive? As a home-visiting physician, how can I leverage this product to improve the delivery of our care? Why have primary care physicians yet to hop on the digital and wearables train? I came up with a long list of (about 20) hypotheses, and here are the top five I frequently encounter.

1. Limited ability to integrate digital health tools with electronic health records (EHRs) and other systems.

2. There is a need for more standardization among health wearables and clear guidelines on how to use them in clinical practice. This makes it difficult for physicians to understand which devices are most appropriate for their patients and how to interpret the data they collect.

3. Concern about the potential for legal liability if they recommend a device to a patient that ultimately causes harm.

4. Some physicians may need to be more comfortable with or familiar with the technology and may require additional training to use and interpret the data from these devices.

5. The need for more evidence to support the effectiveness of these devices in improving patient outcomes. Many physicians may be skeptical of the value of wearable technology. They may require significant data and research to be convinced of their utility in clinical practice.

What are your thoughts? Hesitancies? Ideas to overcome the barriers? This article (mdpi.com/671484) shares numerous recommendations for digital health solutions.


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