2011 is the year of tablet PC’s and medical professional are adopting tablets, more specifically iPad’s since its launch. After CES 2011, we attempted to put forth a comprehensive list of criteria for tablets for medical professionals. Medical professionals at global level are evaluating the use of tablet PC and some hospitals in Australia have already started pilot runs of integrating iPads in their systems. One of the major health providers of Australia, Brisbane-based Mater Health Services, is pushing back on use of tablet as they feel that improvements are need in its form factor.
If you are wondering what the form factor means, CIO of Mater Health Services, Malcolm Thatcher, feels that weight and battery life are major hurdles for adoption of tablet PC’s in their health system. The CIO also cites voice recognition as a much needed addition, among others.
Thatcher stated that “The current technology makes tablets exceptionally good for consuming information but not as a creator of information. Manual input via a tablet is cumbersome and until we get to the point of voice recognition it’s not as efficient.”
Let us add the more features to our list of criteria for tablets for medical professionals as perceived by Thatcher and others:
- Longer battery life
- Lower weight
- Voice recognition
- Instant start (which is...
present in current tablets, so that physician is not waiting for the tablet to boot up)
- The devices also need to support our corporate applications
- A stylus (tablet companies are aggressively working on it and in fact Apple file a patent on tablet stylus)
As a whole some healthcare providers, education institutions (like med schools) have jumped on to the current generation of tablet PC (iPad being the leader right now). Some will wait and see, not that those institutions are just sitting idle; they are investing in wireless infrastructure and are testing systems with laptop, desktops or smartphones and will shift to tablet at some point of time.