Number of docs using smartphones surges

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The number of physicians using smartphones in 2009 surged to 64%, according to the results of a new study by Manhattan Research. The study, Taking the Pulse v9.0, focused on physician adoption, use and impact of the Internet and other technologies. The group of physicians who use mobile devices such as iPhones and BlackBerries increased by 20% between 2008 and 2009, according to the study, and the number of physicians using iPhones alone more than doubled in the past year.

Survey results indicate that physicians' increased reliance on smartphones is not cannibalizing Internet usage on computers. Study data reveals that physicians are spending more time online overall and are using both computers and smartphones to access to the most up-to-date online medical and pharmaceutical resources at a variety of points throughout the day.

In addition, physicians who use smartphones are an important group to take note of for strategy planning, particulalry for brand teams looking to leverage the evolving physician media mix in building relationships with their target audiences, according to the study.

Monique Levy, senior director of research at Manhattan Research, said that while physicians have always been advanced in terms of their mobile use, now, the  growth in smartphone ownership in the last year has been remarkable. Levy said that mobile is delivering on its promise to allow doctors to be "always on" and acccounts for why so many doctors say the internet is essential to their practice.

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