What do you get for a doctor that wants to help their patients and look trendy while doing it? How about an iPad. Administrators at the Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, California have ordered 100 of the new Apple tablet computers to give their personnel the latest in digital accessibility, according to PCWorld. The Citrix Receiver Application lets doctors run a virtual office through the iPad, giving them access to a patient’s records and vital information as well as standard emails and office documents. While still in the preliminary stages of releasing the devices for use in their facilities, the Kaweah staff already see distinct advantages over laptops and other touchscreen devices, none of which has the iPad’s 10 hour battery life or its $500 price tag. Could the iPad become the Doctor’s pad of the future? Take a look at the Citrix App in the video below to see what the system can do.
Citrix is just one of the companies aiming at building synergy between Apple and health care. AirStrip Technologies is developing a suite of applications that will let a doctor track patient vitals on their iPhone. Similar software exists for Citrix, which also has developed a system for porting information easily from desktop to laptop to smart phone to iPad. Either of these competing solutions (and there are others as well) may enable a doctor to easily track, update, and even diagnose patients all through a tablet computer they carry with them.
The experiment in Visalia is just now starting up. Only three iPads have actually arrived, though individual doctors have purchased their own, and the rest will be rolled out in the next two months. A related program with iPhones (about 20) was launched a little earlier in April. Why all this iFervor? I think it’s much more of a digital than Apple revolution. There is a cornucopia of new digital devices looking to augment the medical professional on the go. A hand held ultrasound device from GE was recently unveiled, we’ve seen stethoscopes with iPhone Apps, and there’s even a hand held DNA tester coming soon. Along with new databases of patients digital medical records, these devices give doctors real advantages in the field. Of course hospital administrators and staff alike are going to want to use them. Tablet computers could serve as a hub for this new cross roads of hand held data and system wide digital records. Eventually, we may even see all the hardware be adapted to be included in the iPad itself.
There’s no question that a lightweight, well connected, touchscreen tablet computer is going to be in high demand by doctors and nurses everywhere. But will that computer be an iPad? Well it’s certainly the front runner for now. As long as its battery life, third party development, and relatively low costs are unmatched it’s likely to stay in the lead. So 100 points for Apple…does anybody actually know what the score is?
[screen capture and video credit: Citrix]
[source: Kaweah Delta Health Care District, PCWorld, Citrix]