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Robert W Wong, Mackenzie Franklin, Shelley Day, Jose A Martinez, Clio Armitage Harper, James W Dooner, Mark Levitan, Peter A Nixon; Patient Utilization of Web-Based Health Data Management Technology in an Outpatient Ophthalmology Practice Setting. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5536.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In today’s evolving healthcare environment, technology has improved patient access to medical services from remote locations outside of the physician’s office. We performed a survey to assess our patients’ preferences and utilization patterns of web-based technology in managing their ocular disease.
A fourteen question survey was conducted at a single, outpatient, private retina practice. The questions were designed to assess demographics, patients’ utilization of a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer (PC) to manage their personal health with regards to scheduling an appointment, pay medical bills, browse online physician reviews, or to research a medical condition within the past six months, patients’ interest in participating in telemedicine, using a wearable device, and using an at-home monitoring device for their ocular condition. Groups were compared across age (<35, 35 to 49, 50 to 64, and >65 years) and diagnosis.
200 of 283 subjects completed the survey for a response rate of 71%. Age groups reflected those of a typical retina practice: Age <35 years (13.5%), age 35-49 (22.5%), age 50-64 (25.5%) and age >65 (38.5%). Younger patients use a smartphone, tablet or PC to manage or track their health (age <35, 74%; 35-49, 40%) more than older patients (age 50-64, 14%; >65, 12%). 77% of patients have either already used or were interested in using telemedicine in the future in lieu of a doctor’s visit to manage their healthcare. Nearly all younger patients (age <35, 93% and 35-49, 93%) and the majority of older patients (age 50-64, 66%; and >65, 56%) were interested in using a wearable device to monitor their health. Interest in using an at-home monitor device was fairly even across age groups (age <35, 74%; 35-49, 68%; 50-64, 56%; and >65, 62%). Of these, 100% of central serous retinopathy and 69% of macular degeneration patients expressed interest.
The majority of younger patients, and some older patients, are currently using web-based technology to manage their health care and are interested in remote-based monitoring via telemedicine or wearable devices in the future. Most patients across all age groups expressed interest in using an at-home monitoring device with special concern for macular pathology where central vision is at risk. These findings may be helpful in guiding which services to offer patients in the future.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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