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Survey finds growing use of digital health in Saudi Arabia

Saudi consumers use health apps and wearables to manage their health, Accenture survey finds


84% of consumers find technology important in managing their health

81% agree that they receive better care when their doctors can access and use their EHRs

Al Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 21 May, 2017 – Many consumers in Saudi Arabia are turning to mobile apps and wearables to manage their health, according to the results of a survey by Accenture, a leading global professional services company.

Specifically, among the majority (84 percent) of Saudi consumers who use technology to manage their health, 40 percent use health apps on mobile devices and 14 percent use wearable technology. The findings are part of a seven-country survey of roughly 8,000 consumers – including 852 in Saudi Arabia—with select findings compared to a similar survey of physicians.

Of the three in 10 consumers who were asked by a doctor to use wearables to track their health, such as fitness (37 percent) or vital signs (31 percent), almost three fourths (74 percent) followed their physician’s recommendation. That majority of consumers (74 percent) and nearly all doctors (84 percent) alike said that using wearables helps a patient engage in their health.

Many consumers (43 percent) who use health apps have discussed or shared mobile app data with their doctor in the past year. Consumers most frequently use health apps for fitness (cited by 46 percent), diet/nutrition (54 percent), health or condition tracker (28 percent) or as a symptom navigator (24 percent). Three fourths (76 percent) of consumers said they would be willing to share wearable or app data with their doctors and the majority said they would be willing to share that data with their health plans (62 percent) or friends and family members (67 percent).

Just over one third (35 percent) of consumers in the most-recent survey said they prefer virtual doctor appointments to face-to-face doctor appointments. Roughly one in four (24 percent) consumers have had remote consultations with medical professionals and some (12 percent) have used remote monitoring for managing their health. However, physicians and consumers alike believe that virtual visits provide benefits for patients, such as lower costs (50 percent of consumers vs. 33 percent of doctors) and convenience for patients (37 vs. 47 percent) while in-person visits provide more quality care to patients (48 vs. 43 percent).

“Digital tools are empowering patients to take charge of their health and interact with the system on their own terms,” said Dr. Majid Altuwaijri, managing director of Accenture Health & Public Services in Middle East and North Africa. “Healthcare providers will need to weave digital capabilities into the core of their business model so that it becomes embedded in everything they do."

Methodology

Accenture commissioned a seven-country survey of roughly 8,000 consumers to assess their adoption and attitudes toward digital health tools, electronic health records and their healthcare providers’ electronic capabilities. The seven countries represented were the United States (2,225 respondents), Australia (1,013), Brazil (1,006), England (1,009), Norway (800), Saudi Arabia (852) and Singapore (935). The survey was conducted by Nielsen between November 2015 and January 2016. Where relevant, the survey refers to select findings from a similar physician survey to compare doctor and consumer responses.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 401,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Media Contacts:

Theo Halabi (Abu Dhabi)

Accenture

+971506627053

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Jenn Francis (US)

Accenture

+1 (630) 338-6426

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