Tablet computer use in Medicine is a myth

I’m an ophthalmologist that likes to listen to computer and Mac podcasts.  What pays the bills is my 20 year long career in medicine.  But involvement with computers is a close second for consumption of my time.  I’ve sat on committees at 500+ bed hospitals to evaluate software, my own practice has been 99% paperless with EMR for 10 years now and I manage a computer support company.  So I’m just as familiar with computers, software as I am with the field of medicine and specifically how they interface……

Apple has released the official news of the iPad 2 days ago.  Until this point we’ve had hours of podcasts and blogs speculating what the iPad will be when it’s released.  And the podcasts still continuing predicting it’s effect on the market.  Repeatedly the podcasters have given the history of tablet computer and how it hasn’t met with much success other than vertical markets and medicine.

There has been development of tablet products and software for the medical market,  but contrary to these proclamations it has not met with widespread success there.  While I used dozens of computers each day in the course of patient care, I have NEVER used a tablet computer in the care of the patient, nor do I know any other doctor which routinely uses a tablet computer in the care of a patient.  There is plenty of marketing material with the proverbial clean cut doctor and nurse standing next to him holding a tablet computer but that’s about as accurate as the “photoshopped” cover of the tabloid at the grocery store.  But I contend the tablet computer has failed in the medical market and has only slightly penetrated the market.

So pundits, podcasts, and pontificators stop saying the only place the tablet has met with success is the medical field, because it hasn’t.  I’ll going to look up my next patient’s record on my iPad…….

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