Technology's influence in the healthcare industry
Written by Jo Elynn Cook, Director of Marketing, eHealthcare Solutions Premium Advertising Network
It’s remarkable how digital technology has infiltrated today's society and the healthcare marketplace is experiencing digital’s amazing impact every day.
As health consumers become more tech savvy and digitally connected, similarly physicians are doing the same.
Physicians on the web
As is common for nearly everyone who uses the internet, search engines are the top online resource used by physicians.
The top specialty-specific websites visited by primary care physicians include the American Academy of Family Physicians (#1) and American Board of Internal Medicine (#2) for PCPs and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (#2) for allergists.
The top professional reasons physicians go online are to firstly, search for information about prescription drugs and secondly, use evidence-based treatment guidelines.
Physicians on mobile
Of physicians who report using the internet during the workday, 39 percent do so during patient consults; most frequently for accessing drug reference databases.
The most common professional uses throughout the day are similar to most consumers-at-large: email, internet searches, text messaging, visiting websites and using mobile apps.
Physicians and their patients
Only 5 percent of surveyed physicians said that none of their patients bring information from the Internet to their appointments; the other 95 percent regularly experience the phenomenon.
Further, 77 percent report that they refer their patients to online resources and websites. And the third professional reason physicians are online is to search for patient education materials.
Health consumers on the web
Many consumers turn to the internet as their first source for medical information, reportedly 66 percent in one study.
However, it is still healthcare professionals who are most influential in helping them make decisions about general health and drug information.
These are just some of the ways our industry is embracing this exciting new world. The rapid evolution of digital technologies is changing the face of healthcare at a somewhat exhaustingly fast pace; what is new today will be old tomorrow and what replaces it will be light-years better than the previous option.
I don’t know exactly what’s next, but everyday I’m looking forward to it. It’s my job to quickly implement new solutions to make the most of every available digital technology. So, join me. Let’s strap ourselves in and see where we go from here.
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NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy.
The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment. They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities.
Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.
OncoHost, an oncology startup, will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®.
“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.
“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient."
"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”
Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.