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Doctors have long worried that the presence of the electronic medical record, and the technology needed to write to it, created a wall between the doctor and the patient during exams. They worry that it degrades the doctor-patient relationship, and the “art” of practicing medicine. You picture a physician sitting at a PC asking the patient questions, but never looking at the patient.

Well, according to a new survey by the voice recognition tech company Nuance, patients may have evolved a slightly more progressive attitude about tech in the exam room. The company surveyed 3,000 patients in the U.S., the U.K., and Germany, and found that 97 percent of patients approved of their doctor using technology (including desktop computers and mobile devices) during a consultation.

Almost 6 out of 10 patients said they think technology in the exam room makes the exam a richer experience, especially when it’s “used collaboratively to educate or explain.”

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It is interesting, however, that patients are more comfortable with the doctor using a desktop computer than a mobile device. This may be because the desktop PC is considered a more heads-up experience, and because the patient can look over the physician’s shoulder to see things like X-rays.

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