Innovations in Healthcare

Demographics Correlate with Physician Web Technology Use


A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association offers demographic predictors of physicians and their usage of web-based communication technologies.1 Younger, male doctors who have privileges at a teaching hospital were better predictors of the use of various technologies during the previous six months than were practice-based characteristics, such as specialty, setting, years in practice, or number of patients treated. Communication strategies tallied included using portable devices to access the Internet, visiting social networking websites, communicating by email with patients, listening to podcasts, or writing blog posts.

Lead author Crystale Purvis Cooper, PhD, a researcher at the Soltera Center for Cancer Prevention and Control in Tucson, Ariz., and colleagues drew upon 2009 data from 1,750 physicians in DocStyles, an annual survey of physicians and other health professionals conducted by communications firm Porter Novelli.


  1. Cooper CP, Gelb CA, Rim SH, Hawkins NA, Rodriguez JL, Polonec L. Physicians who use social media and other internet-based communication technologies. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012 May 25 [Epub ahead of print].

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