iPad, Playbook, Galaxy, Xoom, Streak, how can doctor choose a tablet?


CES 2011 can be called as the tablet show of the year, which was very much expected.  Many companies showcased their own tablet version of iPad, a market need created and lead by Apple.  The huge list of tablets releasing in 2011 include, Streak from Dell, NEC dual screen tablet, MSI WinPad tablets, Motion CL900, Motorola Xoom tablet, Samsung Galaxy tab, RIM playbook, IDEA LIFE Health Tablet. Enspert IDENTITY tablet.  You can very well see that market will be flooded with tablets and the burning question in my mind is that which one would grab most attention of medical professionals?  Can these tablets capture a significant market share of iPad, which is already in use by the medical professionals? 

Initially, when I started writing about the tablets, I was thinking of writing about all the tablets being released.  Looking at the huge list, it does not look too much appealing.  Dan Gallagher, Market Watch technology editor makes a good point that many tablets are touting as dual-core processor, integrated graphics capabilities, high resolution display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G or 4G capability as their core strength.  But, they forget that iPad from Apple has more strength that these feature, it runs on iOS, mobile operating platform that has built in ecosystem of music, games and millions of apps through iTune store.  This is common for iPhone, iPad and iPod, so switching between on device to another is seamless.

CompTIA, a nonprofit IT trade association projected that approximately 1 in 4 doctors (25%) and dentists plan to purchase a tablet PC within the next year. So you would ask, what would be core requirement for a healthcare professional, while he is hunting to buy a tablet?  Let’s populate a list together and please chime in if I miss crucial ones.  As I read through various articles, I think these could be the key:

Light Weight:  Healthcare professionals such as doctors will be moving around with the tablet all day from room to room, so you can imagine that this important.  Many tablets are light weight such as MSI WinPad 100A tablet, which uses Androis OS, is claimed to be 1.6 lbs. 

Cost:  Cost could come into play, but I don’t think it would be a prime criteria.  Most of the tablets are anticipated to be in competition with iPad (which cost ~ $499). 

Battery Life:  It could influence decision of many medical professionals, especially if they are using it in rural areas or longer procedure time in OR.  Most tablets are shooting for...

8 hrs or better battery life, I would suggest that you read reviews as there have been discrepancy (at least in laptops) between what is claimed as battery life and what the device can actually offer. 

Robust to medical environment: Hospital environment, dust, liquids etc can be disastrous for your tablet.  Motion’s CL900 is IP-52 rated exterior surface that makes it ideal for the hospital rugged environment.  Inquire about other tablets; I am sure other would have such a feature. 

Robust to drop: Device can drop from hospital bed, workbench or back of a truck and ruin the device. When does that happen! Again Motion,s CL900  The CL900 conforms to the MIL-STD-810G military specification for durability and passed a 4-foot drop test.  If laptop has solid state hard drive like MSI’s tablet, it could be more robust to drops.  

Camera feature: It would be useful to have front and rear camera so that telehealth video conference becomes easier.  Many tablets are offering this such as CL900, Dell’s Streak 7, and so on. 

Patient data handling: I think this is a key feature that the tablet should be able to handle.  Ability to handle documentation processes through reliable, integrated access to patient data at the point of care.  Motion’s CL900 claim this feature and another good candidate for this would be Ideal LIFE’s health tablet.  Ideal Life is a telehealth company and has expertise automatically syncing data between healthcare provider information systems and patients’ health records when using the company’s remote health monitoring devices. 

I would suggest that you add to the list of key requirements for healthcare providers need for tablet through your comments.  If you would like to read through a detailed list of features of different tablets, article from Market Play Ground is a good one.  Good luck medical professionals for your hunt for tablet, I am sure you will not run out of options. 

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Source: E-Week

9 Responses

  1. Mikee says:

    “market need created and lead by Apple.”

    Rubbish, absolute garbage.

    Microsoft created the first tablet concept back in 2001, and Hollywood, especially Star Trek, has been touting these kinds of devices for decades. To give all that credit to Apple is not only patently false, it’s ridiculously ignorant of the forces driving this market.

  2. Derek says:

    I am currently entering the medical profession just transitioning from student. I will begin rotation in this summer and I can not imagine trying to input data on the iPad or any other device with no stylus or pen input. Walking and moving while using the device seems essential to me and so few tablets have given anything but the big music game app market much thought. Motion seems the best except that its expense does come into play for us just starting. I think more tablet’s should look to companies like N Trig for multitouch pen inputs that would allow mobile input and ease of use.

  3. I very glad to find this site on bing, just what I was searching for : D also bookmarked .

  4. There are some attention-grabbing closing dates in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. Theres some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more!

  5. Resident Physician says:

    Who the heck wrote this article? It is RIDDLED with grammatical mistakes and appears to be written by someone who is not in the medical field. Wouldn’t it make sense if this article on ‘medical tablet selection’ were written by someone who might potentially have the experience of one day using said tablet?

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