Physicians + iPhones: A Data Love Story

How physicians are using smartphones today

Sep 16, 2014 · Production Blog Author

Physicians love iPhones

With the announcement of the iPhone 6 last week, our researchers took a close look at how physicians are using smartphones. We used anonymous login data for the nearly 50% of US physicians active on Doximity to get the most accurate look at device trends in medicine.

Apple or Android? Doctors are overwhelmingly Apple fans. Over 85% of physicians are using an iPhone device. Compare that to the mere 32.5% of the general population that chooses Apple over Android. The 80/20 split has been consistent in our data over the last year and a half.

How quickly did physicians upgrade to the iPhone 5? Fast. The graph above shows that the iPhone 5 was already the most popular phone in use on Doximity only six weeks after it was announced on September 10, 2013. That's about 4x faster than the general population upgraded to the new phone.

What about the iPhone 5c and 5s? Neither of these iPhone versions received the same pick-up as the original iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s was adopted fairly quickly by physicians, but wasn't quite able to nab top market share from the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5c barely registered.

Will doctors love the iPhone 6? Trends from our data suggest it's going to be a hit. Our prediction: the iPhone 6 will be in use by 35% of Doximity physicians before Thanksgiving. A larger screen for viewing digital scans and promises of an upgraded battery that can keep up with a physician's long workday should be a nice fit for the medical sector.

So, will this love last? Physicians have been leaders in adapting hand-held devices to the medical workflow ever since the early Palm Pilot days. Small enough to fit in a white coat pocket and packed with volumes of quickly accessed clinical information, the smartphone—or external brain, as they’re often called on the wards—is an ideal physician tool. Through Doximity's mobile app physicians send HIPAA-secure messages to colleagues, stay current on the latest news in their specialty, get second opinions from specialists and send patient referrals every day. iPhone 6 might just be love at first sight for medicine.

Are you a reporter interested in more data from Doximity's research team? Email today.

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