Smartphones and smartphone applications are increasingly being used in a professional capacity among physicians, according to two reports published in the March issue of Kantar Media Sources & Interactions Study-Medical/Surgical Edition.

The Kantar Media Healthcare Research team surveyed more than 3,000 physicians across 21 specialties regarding smartphone use for professional purposes. The researchers found that 74 percent of respondents reported using a smartphone for professional purposes (representing a 9 percent year-over-year increase) and 38 percent reported using both a smartphone and tablet for professional purposes.

Forty-three percent of respondents reported using their smartphone to reference drug data (a 13 percent year-over-year increase), and there was an increase in the percentage who find or perform clinical calculations, up from 35 to 39 percent.

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In a second study, the team surveyed physicians about use of smartphone applications for work. The researchers found that, of the 74 percent of those surveyed who reported using smartphones for work, 72 percent used diagnostic tools/clinical reference applications and 64 percent used applications for drug and coding references. The types of applications most frequently used on tablets were medical journals/newspapers/magazines (73 percent), diagnostic tools/clinical reference (61 percent), and electronic medical records (49 percent).

“Perhaps most interesting is that of all of the tasks that are tracked on smartphone in the study, not one showed a decrease year-over-year, demonstrating how deeply ingrained smartphone usage is becoming in the medical workplace,” according to the first report.