Mobile phones have become as much an indispensable part of our daily lives as it is redefining our personal and professional lives in different ways. Their impact is not limited to any particular industry as they find ready use and application in increasing areas of human endeavour and enterprise.
The modern healthcare system is not exempt from the increasing influence of technology. From its use by medical students in preparing for their voluminous, rigorous examinations and in-courses, increasing uses of technology means that doctors and medical personnel can deliver medical care to remote locations, thus improving healthcare delivery and reducing the cost to the end consumer.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a ratio of 1 doctor to 600 patients. This means that Nigeria’s estimated population of 170 million requires 283,334 doctors to be adequately served. Available statistics show that only 35,000 medical doctors are currently practicing in Nigeria, a paltry 12.35% of the required figure.
We conducted a survey to better understand mobile phone usage patterns among Nigerian healthcare professionals. 1,243 health workers were interviewed in Lagos over a 4-week period. Almost half of our survey group (43.8%) were nursing practitioners while 17% were general medical practitioners; others included community health workers (10.9%), specialist medical workers (5.3%) and pharmacists (3.5%).
- The Medical Dictionary (44.2%) and Medscape (43.1%) are the most popular healthcare mobile applications
- 44.5% of survey respondents report that mobile phones significantly improve communication within the hospital
- To improve their work, 44.6% of respondents use their mobile phones to keep in touch with patients
- The most common mobile phone activities are web browsing (33.1%) and making phone calls (32.7%)
- 36.4% of respondents use their devices for continuous learning, improvement and research.
- About one third of respondents (34.8%) earn between NGN 20,000 – NGN 50,000 per month. 30.7% earn a monthly salary between N 50,000 – N 100,000
- Whatsapp (29.9%) is the most used mobile chat application amongst health practitioners
- 78.6% of our sample size use mobile internet
- 64.6% spending between NGN 1,000-NGN 2,000 a month on data
The infographic below illustrates key insights garnered on the mobile phone usage patterns of health practitioners. If you identify interesting patterns from the infographic, kindly share your observations in our comments box below.
The pdf version of the How I Use my Phone: Healthcare professionals infographic is available here for download. Please pass this on to colleagues and friends who may find the work exciting and useful. Follow us on Twitter, G+ and Facebook for the next series and more!
If you’d like to get in touch to partner, support our work or if you’re interested in the complete How I Use my Phone dataset, please email: mxlab[at]cchubnigeria.com