New study reveals how many doctors use video conferencing

Monday, May 16 2011

No one likes to sit in a doctor's office, waiting to speak with a physician - and not least of all when the matter is something trivial. More and more doctors may be using video conferencing, but it seems that there's still a long way to go. Manhattan Research, a healthcare market research company, has completed a survey of physicians from around the country to see how many doctors are taking advantage of this emerging technology.

The study indicates that 7 percent of doctors use web conferencing technology to interface with patients. The most commonly discussed topics in the teleconference appear to be non-trivial. Most of the responding 7 percent of doctors told Manhattan Research that they used web chats for follow-up discussions or to speak about specialist consultations.

The survey also revealed that the types of physicians most likely to use video conferencing to speak with patients were specialists themselves, particularly psychiatrists and oncologists.

Manhattan Research undertook this study to also discover what was keeping more doctors from chatting via the internet with patients. It seems that most common reasons for avoiding the technology included reimbursement issues, liability fears and the occasional difficulty in complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and its strict monitoring of electronic medical records.