13 March, 2017:
New information technologies have entered medical practice. The role of the internet has frequently been investigated regarding advantages and disadvantages. In August, Medscape surveyed 1423 health-care providers, including 847 physicians, and 1103 patients to assess their attitudes toward new emerging technologies in medicine . Here are the most important results of this survey. Further reading can be found in references [2-8].
Smartphone apps to monitor blood glucose levels or cardiac irregularities have already arrived and are in use by many patients. When patients and physicians were asked whether they support taking this technology one step further – using technologies to self-diagnose non-life-threatening medical conditions, twice as many patients as physicians said they did. But half of the respondents agreed that all final diagnoses should be made by a qualified health professional.
Access to physicians' notes
Physicians and patients disagree widely on how much access patients should have to physicians' notes. Twice as many patients as physicians felt they should have access to lab results as soon as they are available, regardless of whether they might cause patients to worry or panic. Physicians wanted to have more control over how and when lab results were released. More than seven of ten physicians felt that they should review all lab results before providing patients with access to the results. Patients with cancer, in particular, exemplify the risks of immediate access to lab results. Patients may be able to see results of such tests as tumor markers – a potentially high-anxiety experience – before their physician has been able to put the results in context.