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Health IT use lags despite consumer interest

Kenneth Corbin | Nov. 9, 2015
Nielsen research indicates that healthcare providers have been slow to incorporate technology into their practices, leaving telemedicine a far-off prospect.

In part, the survey identified a broad lack of awareness among both providers and patients about the health IT tools available that are available and their potential to improve care.

Analysts also note that Congress and regulators could take action to update the applicable statutes to accommodate the use of new health applications and to realign reimbursements and other incentives to encourage the adoption of new technologies that support patient-centered care.

So health IT advocates like Pearl are urging patients and providers to take a more active role in the technology discussion, envisioning a groundswell of support that could provide a helpful counterpoint to the vested interests that have been commanding the debate.

"My hope is that patients will start demanding this," Pearl says. "I think the two voices that have been missing in the debate and the conversations has been the voice of the patient and the voice of the physicians. [We've] heard from a lot of insurance companies, hospital systems, new tech startups -- a lot of people's voices are being heard. The two voices I think that are going to be most crucial are the patients and the physicians. And when those voices come together and talk about what's possible in 21st century technology, I'm optimistic that change can happen."


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