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1 way the iPad is changing Healthcare

I just read a great article by Jeff Bullas called 5 iPad trends to watch. Amazingly Jeff neglects to mention how the iPad is making some amazing inroads into Healthcare. In this post I am kicking off an additional blog focus, how the tablet is improving the practice of medicine.

There is not just one reason why the tablet is improving the practice of medicine; click here to see a list of 10 to start. For this post I will focus on just one simple reason; information accessibility!

I am not a doctor. In general I do not need to access very much information to do my job of running an Imaging department. On any given day I may need to remember the current status of a particular project or issue. I may need to remember the cost of some capital item I am trying to get approved or maybe I may need to remember the name of an employee or physician in a meeting. Contrast this with the volume of information a physician or any medical professional from a nurse to a radiology technologist needs to retain and access at any given moment. Take the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR) for instance. The PDR “is a commercially published compilation of manufacturers’ prescribing information on prescription drugs“. The most recent version in 2011 has information on over 1100 drugs including pictures, potential complications and general prescribing information. Think of all of the paper that is included with any of your prescribed medications and then multiple that by 1100. Trust me, the book is big! Now, think about having all of this information searchable on a tablet! Another example is the medical dictionary. Take the Stedman’s, one of the three primary English Dictionaries, which has over 54,000 terms and 900 illustrations. And this is just a general dictionary utilized by just about any healthcare worker from the radiology scheduler to the general internist. Now, consider all of the other medical books and journals and you have literally 10’s of millions of pages of medical information. What would it be like to have all of this information at your finger tips on the floors?

Consider this from Jon King, MD, a general surgeon at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix taken from this article in American Medical News. Before Dr. Kim started using his iPad in practice, “he routinely would have to leave the exam room to get anatomical drawings or medication lists to review with the patients”. Would you like to review electronic medical drawings on an iPad before your surgery or would you prefer a scribbled “illustration” on a piece of paper or white board? And, it is not just the practicing physicians that are transforming the practice of medicine, just ask the new surgical residents at Loyola in Chicago that are each provided their very own iPad to access Loyola’s newly digitized medical library.

Ubiquitous information access at the bedside quickly and easily… just one way the iPad is improving medicine. And, I am not talking about utilization of the tablet to view electronic medical records or other point of care applications; just the ability to access information quickly and easily!

Think this advantage is just in medicine? Check out this article on how the iPad is beginning to replace that 40 pound rolling bag that all pilots lug along on their flights!

Much more to come!

P.S. The picture above is a screen scrape taken from my iPad visualizing an MRI via the Citrix Receiver app for the iPad.

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