Smartphone use surges among docs

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The number of physicians using smartphones in 2009 surged to 64%, according to the results of a 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. Data from the study reveals that physicians are spending more time online overall and are using both computers and smartphones to gain access to the most up-to-date online medical and pharma 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, particularly for brand teams looking to leverage the evolving physician media mix in building relationships with their target audiences, according to the study.

Physicians with smartphones on average are younger than their counterparts, pointing to continued increases in mobile adoption rates in coming years. Also, this group spends more time on the Internet and is overall more multimedia-savvy than non-smartphone users.

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 accounts for why so many doctors say the internet is essential to their practice. 
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