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Smart Phone Use by Physical Therapists

Posted Feb 07 2011 11:52pm

A Physical Therapist using his cell phone today in clinic.

Kyle’s post about smart phone use by physicians had a brief reference to some data attempting to describe smart phone use by PT’s. Well, we did some digging and discovered the real figures. This information is preliminary data obtained when PT Journal surveyed a representative sample of APTA member subscribers and was relayed to me by personal communication from the managing editor. The response rate was limited (~30%) which is why this is preliminary data, but I’m told the demographics of the responders matched the journal’s overall demographics. The numbers are concerning when the respondents were asked, “Do you use a smartphones to access professional content?

Essentially, more than half (54%) of the respondents from this preliminary survey were not interested in using smart phones to access professional content, thus rendering the phones significantly less smart. We have no idea how many PT’s own smart phones, but to me it this question is more important that how many people own a smart phone. To compare, numbers for physician use of smart phones range from 72% to 80% depending on the survey. Yikes!

Why the disparity between two related professions? I’m just not sure. I am looking forward to more data of this sort. We need to figure this out. I’ll leave you with this quote from Stewart Brand:

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road”

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