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Younger doctors’ tech priorities revealed

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COVID-19 has shifted the way younger doctors view technology, with faith in telehealth on the rise as AI’s stock falls, according to a study.

According to Philips’ Future Health Index 2020, the pandemic has prompted younger doctors to change their attitudes to the relative benefits of different health technologies.

It has led to a shift in priorities, with younger doctors recognising the immediate value of telehealth.

Before the pandemic, 60% of younger healthcare professionals ranked AI as the top digital health technology that would most improve their work satisfaction, with 39% identifying telehealth as the top technology.

Now, 61% of younger doctors rank telehealth as the digital health technology that would have most improved their experiences at this time, with AI falling to 53%.

Younger doctors surveyed believed that there is room for improvement in how these technologies are used in everyday practice.

When asked what would have helped them leverage the health data available to them during the height of the pandemic, nearly half (47%) of younger doctors pointed to better integration of healthcare data between hospitals/practices and between different IT systems or electronic medical records.

For many younger doctors, working through COVID-19 has shown what a more technologically forward-thinking workplace could look like, with 44% reporting the pandemic exposed them to new ways of using digital health technologies.  

As the healthcare sector prepares for the future, many younger doctors hope these advancements will become permanent fixtures of their post-COVID-19 workplace environments.

When asked what changes in healthcare they most hoped would become outlast the pandemic, younger doctors ranked exposure to new types of digital health technologies (29%), new ways to use digital health technologies (29%), greater appreciation from patients (29%), and accelerated availability of digital health technologies (28%) as their top responses. 

Philips surveyed doctors under the age of 40 in five countries – the US, China, Singapore, France and Germany.

The firm’s chief medical officer Jan Kimpen said: “Healthcare professionals, including the younger generation, have experienced unprecedented levels of stress and were often faced with limited resources in recent months. We must acknowledge the heroic sacrifices that frontline healthcare professionals have endured in the fight against COVID-19.

“We owe it to them to listen to their voices as we consider the future of the healthcare industry. Our FHI Insights survey reveals that despite the challenges they’ve faced, younger doctors are as committed as ever to their vocation. The research spotlights how young doctors perceive change, and is relevant to leaders focused on reshaping how healthcare is being organised and delivered.”

See more on the report here.

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