The rise of the data-driven physician

patient data

Published by Standford Medicine, the 2020 Health Trends Report has identified that physicians are actively preparing to integrate health data – and the technologies that harness it – into the clinical setting

The theme of the report is ‘The Rise of the Data-Driven Physician’. It surveyed more than 700 physicians, residents and medical students, and found that these members of the healthcare industry are seeking out education in data science disciplines, and are interested in using emerging sources of patient data as part of routine care.

“What we found,” wrote Lloyd B. Minor, Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, “boils down to one central idea: physicians expect new technology to transform patient care in the near term, and they are actively preparing to integrate health data ­− and the technologies that harness it  ­− into the clinical setting. In other words, we are witnessing the Rise of the Data-Driven Physician.”

The key findings of the study revolve around the enhanced use of new technology, with many of those still studying professing an urge to seek out education in data science principles. In fact, nearly three-quarters of all medical students – and nearly half of all physicians – are planning to pursue additional education in this field, the report notes.

However, the report also identifies that, while the healthcare sector in 2020 is due to be altered by a number of technological trends such as wearable healthcare devices, many physicians and medical students report low levels of readiness to implement these technologies – education and training in these areas are very much lagging behind.

Moreover, additional pressures are also preventing healthcare providers from reaching their full potential. “Medical training and education will need to be continuously modernised to keep pace with new practice trends. Leaders across healthcare, government, technology, and other groups will need to engage in constructive ways to tackle physician concerns, including practice burdens that lead to professional distress and disillusionment. While the issues are manifold, we believe that those with a stake in the future have both a strong incentive to act and the capacity to do so,” the report surmises.

Read the full report here.