Can BlackBerry PlayBook supersede iPad in healthcare industry?


Advent of iPad has grabbed a lot of attention from the medical community.  Many medical colleges have given iPad to their students and are evaluating its utility.  Other companies are tapping into the potential of iPad type devices and one of the top smart phone companies, Research in Motion announced its own version of iPad.  RIM, manufacturer of BlackBerry, has put rest to the speculation on the name of it’s iPad, by naming it PlayBook as suppose to BlackPad. Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM revealed that its first professional tablet will be available in the market in early 2011. 

iPad will be in the market for about a year by the time Playbook is expected to hit the shelves; the question for the health industry is that will PlayBook grab as much attention or iPad might have swept the market? The strong point that goes in favor of RIM is that many health organizations are well equipped with BlackBerry devices.  These organizations have infrastructure for BlackBerry enterprise server and PlayBook is compatible with it.  Looking at it at a higher level, PlayBook will be easier to integrate as

  • health organization are well equipped with BlackBerry devices
  • requires no new software
  • no new security or data plan 

Lazaridis revealed that the first generation of the PlayBook will be WiFi only, but the company plans 3G-enabled and 4G-enabled versions in the future. 

Did RIM show apps for medical community?
CEO and President Mark Willnerd of TouMetis, showed some medical apps for PlayBook for example app for orthopedic surgeons, where they can design, for example, new knee replacements for patients right from a BlackBerry or from the PlayBook. 

Also, RIM indicated remote EMR access as a potential use case for PlayBooks in the medical field; “For example, a...

medical records application can attach image files to a patient’s medical record, with the option to open or preview the record, or view the list of available images before it is downloaded to the BlackBerry smartphone.” 

Watch the PlayBook introductory video below for more on BlackBerry’s new device:



I think iPad needs some competition and who better than BlackBerry can offer that.  Strong point that goes in favor of PlayBook is that many medical facilities are infrastructure setup for BlackBerry and it is expensive to switch to

 other systems, such as iPhones and iPad.  Also, watch out for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android-powered Tablet computer with 7-inch display with front- and rear-facing cameras, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, Flash 10.1 support, the “Media Hub” content platform, and Android 2.2. Look forward for similar device on Droid platform.  It is speculated that PlayBook will cost $300 – $500 and Galaxy Tab will cost ~$300.  It will be interesting to see, who captures most market share as three dominant platform are competing for the healthcare users.

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Source: Mobile Health News

21 Responses

  1. dave says:

    iPad is too heavy, so lighter devices have got a REAL SHOT at unseating the iPad, provided that enough apps are available for those devices before/if Apple comes out with a lighter version itself.

  2. Thanks for the article. It served as a great resource/inspiration for my recent feature on mobile health for healthcare IT ( I had a great interview with Samsung about how the Galaxy Tab will be used in the healthcare space, specifically in regard to health information exchange.

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