Patient with doctor

3 Key Takeaways from the 2022 AMA Digital Health Study

Optimize Health | 20 September 2022
3 minute read

Since 2016, the American Medical Association has regularly measured physician views on the use and adoption of many digital health tools, including remote patient monitoring. Their most recent Digital Health Study, conducted this year (2022), reveals how far digital healthcare has come in the past six years at proving to physicians its value as a clinical treatment modality. Let’s dive into our key takeaways from the 2022 AMA Digital Health study.

Physicians Increasingly See Advantages of Digital Tools

More and more PCPs and specialists see the advantages of digital health solutions than ever before.

  • 44% reported a definite advantage for using digital health tools in 2022 compared to 31% in 2016
  • Older physicians (51+) had the largest increase with 40% saying definite advantage in 2022 compared to 25% in 2016
  • The number of PCPs citing advantages of digital health tools grew by 51% compared to 29% for specialists

Across nearly every attribute of digital health surveyed, more physicians rated each as a higher motivator to adopt digital care in 2022 relative to 6 years prior. The top motivators for adopting digital healthcare in 2022 (measured by the percentage of physicians who stated these were somewhat or very important) included:

  • Improved clinical outcomes: 88%
  • Improves work efficiency: 88%
  • Improves diagnostic ability: 83%
  • Improves care coordination: 83
  • Increases patient safety: 82%
  • Improves patient-physician relationship: 77%

Adoption of Specific Digital Health Tools has Varied

Unsurprisingly, virtual visits saw some growth from 14% adoption in 2016 to 28% in 2019, followed by extremely rapid adoption during the pandemic to 80% in 2022. Despite the very high number of physicians offering virtual visits, only 57% are enthusiastic about them, which is still an increase over 36% of physicians being enthusiastic in 2016.

On the other hand, remote patient monitoring (RPM) for improving clinical care has seen more modest, but steady growth from just 13% adoption in 2016 to 34% in 2022. Interestingly despite the slower adoption, 53% of physicians reported being enthusiastic about RPM. Nearly all of those who are enthusiastic about RPM plan to adopt RPM if they are not already using it.

One potential conclusion from this data is that growth of virtual visits grew out of necessity because of the pandemic rather than overwhelming physician desire. Many physicians are equally enthusiastic about additional digital health tools and will adopt them over time to improve care.

Digital Technologies Provide Many Benefits

Physicians cited multiple areas where technology can address key needs, including:

  • Support chronic disease patients through more regular monitoring: 60%
  • Support preventative care: 59%
  • Address and automate administrative burdens: 57%
  • Augment physician capacity by supporting care for less acute patients as appropriate: 50%
  • Create access in underserved areas: 46%

The benefits cited by the AMA research align perfectly with RPM. Remote monitoring is most commonly used as preventative care for patients with chronic diseases. Through leveraging nurses and medical assistants, RPM increases clinician capacity as one monitoring clinician can care for 150-200 patients in the comfort of their own home. By catching potential exacerbations, the clinical team can change medications and make treatment decisions that avoid expensive ED visits or hospital admissions. And monitoring increases accessibility to patients in rural or underserved communities, particularly if a practice is using a remote onboarding service.

Expand Your Practice’s Approach to Digital Healthcare

If you are ready to learn more about how to provide convenient, effective, continuous digital healthcare to your patients, set up a free consultation with a remote care expert.