I’m about to make a big announcement about the iPad. Something that every iPad loving doctor will be happy to know about. It’s a simple announcement, and something many of you probably already know: Every EMR software vendor out there is now available on the iPad.
That’s right, you can pretty much run any and every of the 300+ EMR companies software on an iPad. All it takes is an iPad, a cell or WiFi internet connection and some form of remote desktop application. There you go, I solved all the EMR companies iPad strategy problems.
Practice Fusion sent out a press release recently about support of the iPad for their Free EHR. In the press release they highlight a number of the benefits of access to an EMR on the iPad and they describe the use of the EMR iPad model that I talk about above. They use the remote desktop app for mobile devices called LogMeIn Ignition. $29.95 and you can connect to your computer from your iPad. Not to mention that it also support Android and Windows. Yes, that’s right, I guess we could also say that every EMR software is available on Android and Windows phones and tablets as well. Of course, there are also some free RDP options as well, but probably aren’t quite as easy to configure.
Now, I’m sure the purest out there are going to come and say that there’s a lot of difference between a remote session to your computer than a native iPad EMR application. They’re right. In some ways, the remote connection to your computer is better. There’s no new EMR interface you have to learn. You have remote access to all the files and programs on your main computer. You have all the preferences you’re use to having at your desk. I could go on, but there’s certainly some benefits to remotely accessing your computer on an iPad.
Some might argue that the latency (Translated: slowness) of a remote session could be a major issue. I think these comments are from people on super slow connections and/or people who haven’t used the latest remote desktop sessions. Remote access has come a long way and the experience of using a computer remotely is almost as good as being at the computer itself.
The more important argument that I’ve left out is actually the EMR user interface. The problem with most EMR user interfaces is that they were designed with a mouse and keyboard as the input devices. The keyboard can generally be overcome with good templates, voice recognition, the iPad keyboard, etc. However, the mouse is a more difficult challenge since the precision of the mouse is so much better than your finger (This is the true fat finger issue).
Point being that while you can certainly access your EMR remotely on the iPad, it’s going to be important to know how well your EMR software is designed for a touch screen interface. Spacing of elements in your EMR, size of buttons and a number of other design elements can drastically change your experience using a touch screen interface. Plus, that doesn’t even cover the unique touch screen gestures that are available like swiping, 2 finger taps, etc.
Yes, it is fair to say that EVERY EMR software out there can be run on an iPad. However, that definitely doesn’t mean that you will want to run that EMR software on the iPad. The good thing is the cost to try your EMR software on the iPad is really low. Once you’ve tried it out, let me know your experience so that others can learn as well.