Doctors Overwhelmingly Choose iPhone Over Blackberry

27 07 2010

[Via C|Net Health Tech]

C|Net’s Elizabeth Moore relays the recently released results of the 2010 Spyglass Consorting Group’s report entitled ‘Trends in Mobile Communications’.  The group’s first investigation in 2006 found that 59% of doctors were using smartphones at the time; the number now has grown to 94%, exceeding adoption by the general public.

The group also reports that doctors prefer the iPhone over the BlackBerry 44 to 25% (I’ll assume that the other 25% prefer Android), and that 78% are frustrated with “difficulties accessing and communicating with colleagues in a timely manner”.

I find these statistics puzzling, and I therefore pose the following:

  • Why were only iPhone and BlackBerry surveyed?  What about Windows Mobile? (it is still around, after all)  What about Android?
  • I am actually surprised that BlackBerry lost by such a margin.  If the question was: “Which do you prefer?”  Perhaps doctors own personal/private biases might have influenced their answer (aka I think the iPhone is cool, so I must prefer it).  Also, perhaps their own personal experiences have frustrated them.  At least at Albany Medical Center, all the Pathology staff have company issued BlackBerrys, and none of them have iPhones.  I’d imagine most people can easily find gripes with their current devices, and, at the same time, look at other devices through rose-colored glasses.
  • At AMC, the only way to access your email on a mobile phone is via BlackBerry server since Exchange and OWA is blocked by our stellar IT department.  So for this reason, I think a RIM device actually makes more sense than other smartphones.  I hate that I can’t get my e-mail on my phone (I currently am using a Sprint Evo 4G running Android 2.1).  So perhaps it’s just my institution, but BlackBerry certainly keeps you more connected here than any other platform.
  • Sure the iPhone is constantly featured in the news and on the blogs for its cool medically relevant apps (my blog is certainly no exception), but how many are actually useful in day-to-day practice?  Very few for a Pathologist, and perhaps a handful for clinical docs.
  • Finally, while I might have guessed that most MD’s are quite tech savvy at one point in my life, I’ve since found that not to be true.  They probably mirror that of the general public more closely than most people assume, and as such, are equally as susceptible to the excellent marketing campaign put forth by Apple, and, therefore, have a better opinion of their products.

Ultimately, it’s probably a combination of all of the above observations/extrapolations that resulted in the great divide in opinion.  Alternatively, the results could be skewed by sample selection or sample size (as the C|Net article alludes to).  Finally, perhaps the results are totally valid, and my suspicions are unfounded! haha.

As to the 87% of people dissatisfied with their ability to communicate overall, I feel that this number is much lower than it should be.  Perhaps some docs don’t even realize how much easier life could be with new and evolving technologies being used in daily practice.  I mean, beepers?  Really?!?  Sigh.

Anyway, just some food for thought.  What are your opinions on this topic?  Is the a truly superior device/medical assistant?




One response

2 09 2010

At this moment, no smartphone can be considered a medical device or assistant. At best, they are an overpriced notebook. What’s missing is good EHR/EMR apps but the screen is too small to be useful.

The iPad, on the other hand, has a real future for doctors. Currently, the only EMR for the iPad, DrChrono, sells for $2,500 per licence (iPad included). I do not know if it is any good.

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