New Poll Shows U.S. Adults Strongly Favor and Value New Medical Technologies in Their Doctor’s Office
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Oct. 14, 2005 – A new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll shows that while only a minority of U.S. adults have experience with new medical technologies such as electronic medical records and digital imaging equipment in their doctor’s office, vast majorities are in favor of having their doctors adopt new technologies in their practices. Furthermore, a large number of adults believe new medical technologies will either reduce the costs of medical care or are worth the investment because they will improve the quality of care.
Below are the results of the online survey of 2,048 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive? between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4, 2005 for The Wall Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition.
Experience with new medical technologies
Relatively small numbers of U.S. adults report that their doctor has ever used some new technologies for them or a member of their family during a doctor visit or to provide or discuss follow-up treatment. Specifically:
Sixteen percent (16%) report that their doctor has used an electronic medical record to capture their medical information.
Fourteen percent (14%) say their doctor has used a personal digital device like a Palm Pilot or a hand-held computer to record their information.
Eight percent (8%) report that their doctor has used e-mail to communicate directly with them or their family members, while an equal percentage reports that their doctor has used digital imaging equipment that allows the doctor to send pictures or other images via e-mail (8%).
Only five percent (5%) have experience with a home monitoring device that allowed them to send medical information – like blood pressure readings or blood tests – to their doctor’s office via the telephone or e-mail.
Support for the adoption of new medical technologies
Despite limited personal experience with these new medical technologies, at least three-quarters of adults strongly or somewhat favor having their doctor(s) use these types of new technologies when caring for them or their family members. Adults most strongly favor the use of home monitoring devices (83% strongly or somewhat favor), followed closely by e-mail for doctors and patients to communicate directly (81%), electronic medical records (78%), digital imaging equipment (78%) and personal digital devices to record information (75%).
Considerable support also exists for new technology being developed that uses internal imaging to capture characteristics of a human’s internal anatomy, such as veins in the palm of the hand, to confirm identity. About seven in 10 (71%) adults would strongly or somewhat favor using this type of technology to help protect patients’ medical records (i.e., to restrict release or use of medical records without such verification).
The value of new medical technologies
The majority of adults do believe these new medical technologies provide value; nearly one-third (31%) believes new technologies such as electronic medical records and digital imaging devices are worth the money they cost because they will improve patient care, and 36% believe these new technologies will ultimately reduce the costs of medical care. Only one in 10 (10%) believes these new technologies cost more money than they are worth and a further 23% are not sure.
Harris Interactive conducted this online survey within the United States between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 2,048 adults, ages 18 years and over. Figures for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income and region were weighted where necessary to align with population proportions. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95% certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the sub-samples of men (1,010) and women (1,038) is plus or minus 5 percentage points. Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of error in polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. This includes refusals to be interviewed (nonresponse), question wording and question order, and weighting. It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors. This online sample is not a probability sample.
The Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll is an exclusive poll that is published in the award-winning Health Industry Edition of The Wall Street Journal Online at www.wsj.com/health
About The Wall Street Journal Online
The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com, published by Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ; http://www.dowjones.com/
), is the largest paid subscription news site on the Web. Launched in 1996, the Online Journal continues to attract quality subscribers that are at the top of their industries, with 744,000 subscribers world-wide as of Q2, 2005.
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About Harris Interactive?
Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/
) is the 13th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, perhaps best known for The Harris Poll? and for pioneering and engineering Internet-based research methods. The Rochester, New York–based global research company blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application, conducting proprietary and public research globally to help clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
Blending science and art, Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital and one of the world’s largest online panels of respondents, with premier Internet survey technology and sophisticated research methods to market leadership through its US, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe
and Asia offices, its wholly owned subsidiary, Novatris in Paris (http://www.novatris.com/
), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies.