10 more takes: Healthcare industry on iPad

By: Brian Dolan | Feb 2, 2010        

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iPad 3HITSP Chair Dr. John Halamka: “The iPad comes closer to my requirements than other devices on the market. However, the ideal clinical device would include a camera for clinical photography and video teleconferencing. Entering data via the touch screen with gloved hands may be challenging on a capacitance touch screen. Holding the iPad with one hand means hunt and peck typing with the remaining hand. The device is a bit large for a white coat pocket, may be hard to disinfect, and may not be tolerant of dropping onto a hospital floor. I look forward to trying one to validate these assumptions. My general impression is that it is not perfect for healthcare, but it is closer than other devices I’ve tried.” More (John D. Halamka, MD, MS is CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, CIO and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN), CEO of MA-SHARE, Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and a practicing emergency physician.)

Mountain View-based El Camino Hospital Vice Chief of Clinical Operations, Cheryl Reinking: “You could use this [iPad] in the operating room, when you need to document things quickly, or in the lab,” Reinking told the SF Chronicle. “Physicians could use the device at the bedside to make notes, or use it as a reference for medications. It could be an amazing tool.” More

Dr. Javeed Siddiqui, associate medical director for the Center for Health and Technology at UC Davis Medical Center: “It’s portable and it’s lightweight,” he said. “It has touch screen, a Web browser — and all those features can be utilized as a way to integrate technology in patient care.” More

Kaiser Permanente is assessing whether the iPad would be a fit for a trial it is conducting in Sacramento, called “Destination Bedside.” KP aims to choose a tablet for use at its hospitals nationwide, according to the Sacramento Bee. More

Info-Tech Senior Research Analyst Mark Tauschek: ”Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch have found their way into enterprises and the iPad and other devices in this form factor will almost certainly find a home in enterprises. The biggest impact will likely be seen in the medical, professional services and educational fields where larger screens, and the ability to interact with documents, records or plans is required.” The iPhone, and similar devices, have become highly successful with apps that help doctors view digital imaging and allow students to have easy access to online educational content, including text books, Tauschek stated, according to Enterprise Mobile. “IT departments can expect to see requests to purchase and support this new generation of tablet computers. I suspect medical professionals will see the benefits of having a tablet, and many students and educators will probably prefer to carry around an iPad-like device instead of a traditional laptop.” More

World of DTC Marketing polled some anonymous healthcare industry workers: “I can’t use it. Am I supposed to write with one finger while holding the iPad” one family physician told WDCTM. “Too cumbersome. It would have been a winner if it has a stylus and allowed me to write information on medical records or write an Rx” said another physician. One senior physician said that “we need an enterprise software solution to integrate any external devices with our system. It also needs to be able, on the back end, take the data and communicate with insurance companies and pharmacies. This has a long way to go before it meets our needs.” A medical device VP of training said “it’s not for us right now. It’s missing a lot of features especially FLASH which we use in illustrations to train sales people as well as customers.” More

ZDNet’s Dana Blankenhorn believes that medicine is the iPad’s “sweetspot”: “Now that we know what Apple has been working on these last many months (it’s an iPad) one of the first questions has to be, what do we do with it? The answer is it’s what your doctor has been dreaming of ever since the PC revolution began.” More

Medgadget’s editors weigh in: “From our point of view, the fact that the iPad is likely not designed to be splash-proof is a big problem for a clinical environment. There are also other downsides of the device, such as a lack of camera and microphone for communications, absence of standard USB ports or even a card reader, the fact that the pad may not work with some examination and surgical gloves, and the battery cannot be swapped in the device. Moreover, it’s not clear if hospitals or clinician offices would want to adopt a platform based on the locked down iPhone operating system. However, iPAD’s size, price, and an intuitive interface may in the end win over the downsides to bring the iPad to the medical world.” More

RidRx.com’s Dr. Blaine Warkentine wrote up 10 commandments for the iPad’s success, which includes low cost, patient-provider communications, immediate scalability, mobility and more. More

Blogger Doctor Anonymous: “But, it’s not about the hardware people. It’s all about the software. Will the corporate EMR hospital and office vendors write updates and patches for iPad? I really doubt that (at this point). I mean they are busy as it is with their own interoperability issues as well as big picture issues like keeping up with CCHIT certification and the mysterious term called “Meaningful Use” which helps hospitals and doctors obtain federal stimulus monies for “meaningful use” of EMRs. I can just see EMR vendors saying now, “Oh yeah, we can write software to use iPad on the hospital system. It will be an additional (several) hundred thousand dollar price tag for that feature. And, we agree. It’ll be cool to see iPads using our system…” More

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  • med apps in testing

    I haven’t used the ipad for more than 10minutes. From a medical standpoint I see two glaring issues: 1) how to disinfect while moving it between patient rooms and to an OR/ER sanitized setting. It doesn’t seem to be able to be cleaned to this level of necessity. 2) is there a cover to keep it from being damaged if it is spilled upon or dropped? Haven’t even approached covering what the apps/extras are and how they could be used for my up and coming business, much less my husband’s current business. Would love som more info on #1 abd #2 above! Either way, this could be a “toy” for me to explore with my photography business. Don’t know if it would give me an edge over my dell notebook and printer. Have to do more “resarch”!

  • Robert Helm

    There is a new antimicrobial solution for healthcare professionals using touch screens its called the Accu-Text Smart Touch…