iPad Adoption Slow in Healthcare

Posted on March 24, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

At least that’s the case that was made in this blog post on the Software Advice website. The post is a few months old which is centuries in the tech world, but I have to disagree with them on their take that EMR vendors are slow to move their products to the iPad platform. In fact, I mentioned in their comments that I think every single EMR vendor has an iPad strategy.

They do get it right that doctors are adopting the iPad at a really dramatic pace. Here’s my reasons why it’s been so popular:
1. Battery life that lasts a full shift
2. 3G and Wireless Connectivity
3. Intuitive interface
4. $500 price point

We’re still waiting on some enterprise features that it seems like the Blackberry Playbook is trying to implement for healthcare. However, I’m pretty sure they’ll get there in time or someone will create an app that will create those features anyway.

Back to the iPad, the article only states 2 companies that have an iPad EMR offering. There are many more than that. I’ve seen some from Practice Fusion, GE, and VitalHealth to just name a few.

What I haven’t yet seen is how well doctors like the use of their EMR iPad interface. Is it really that usable for a doctor doing his rounds? Does it work well for clinical documentation? Is it a nice compliment to a desktop environment?

Sadly, I still can’t give my first hand account of using an EMR on an iPad. I got my refund from HIMSS since despite all the free iPad giveaways I came home without one. Oh well, the iPad 2 is out now and it would have been a shame to only won a first generation iPad. I’m told by Christmas there may even be an iPad 3, but I digress.

What might even be more interesting than EMR use on an iPad is the other creative ways that people are using iPads in healthcare. For example, I’ve heard of people using an iPad as a check in device for their clinics. There’s something cool about handing over an iPad instead of a clipboard for your patients to fill out their paperwork. I’m sure some patients would hate it, but I for one would be much happier feeling out the stack of paperwork electronically.