A poll by the Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care shows that U.S. adults are all in favor of new medical gadgets and technologies. No surprize about the attitude. The big surprize is in the landslide numbers:
Despite limited personal experience with these new medical technologies, at least three-quarters of adults strongly or somewhat favor having their doctor(s) use these types of new technologies when caring for them or their family members. Adults most strongly favor the use of home monitoring devices (83% strongly or somewhat favor), followed closely by e-mail for doctors and patients to communicate directly (81%), electronic medical records (78%), digital imaging equipment (78%) and personal digital devices to record information (75%).
Considerable support also exists for new technology being developed that uses internal imaging to capture characteristics of a human’s internal anatomy, such as veins in the palm of the hand, to confirm identity. About seven in 10 (71%) adults would strongly or somewhat favor using this type of technology to help protect patients’ medical records (i.e., to restrict release or use of medical records without such verification).
The majority of adults do believe these new medical technologies provide value; nearly one-third (31%) believes new technologies such as electronic medical records and digital imaging devices are worth the money they cost because they will improve patient care, and 36% believe these new technologies will ultimately reduce the costs of medical care. Only one in 10 (10%) believes these new technologies cost more money than they are worth and a further 23% are not sure.