When Apple introduced the iPad in January 2010, Steve Jobs (R.I.P.) called the touch-screen tablet “magical and revolutionary.” The word “magical” appeared in an Apple commercial a few months later when iPads first hit—and flew off the shelves of—stores.
The pace at which healthcare professionals, particularly physicians, have embraced the iPad is nothing short of revolutionary, too. More than 30 percent of U.S. doctors now own one, according to both Manhattan Research and Chilmark Research. Apple itself has said that more than 80 percent of the “top hospitals” (whatever that means) in the U.S. are using iPads.
But as the Gartner hype cycle has shown time and again, the initial excitement inevitably wanes as growing pains crop up. That’s starting to happen with the iPad in medicine.
As CIO magazine reported last week, iPads failed miserably in a test at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Every one of the clinicians returned the iPad, saying that it wasn’t going to work for day-to-day clinical work,” CTO Wes Wright was quoted as saying. “The EMR apps are unwieldy on the iPad.”
Granted, Seattle Children’s made its doctors access the Cerner EMR not through a native iPad app but via the Safari Web browser. Certain elements of the EMR were designed for viewing on 21-inch monitors, not the 9.7-inch iPad. (Come to think of it, this is the same reason Independa offers a 22-inch touch-screen desktop PC as an alternative to its much smaller Android tablet for its home-health monitoring system.)