This is the third part in the series of Technology enablers in Health
Multi-touch screen devices which you can carry any where, surf the web perform basic word processing applications and also read a journal, listen to audio casts. This is what health care professionals are looking at.
Many manufactures, ventured on this territory-noticeably,Cruchpad or JooJoo was a device with limited functions, it enabled you to surf the web and watch videos, but with the price at more that $300, it was not exciting enough.
Kindle, was promising but it performed only one function-to read e-books and surf the web on grey scale.
Ultra-light mobile computing devices generated a lot of interest among manufactures, they were portable and multi media rich enabled device, but the thumb mouse and split keyboard in some of the devices like Samsung Q1 didn’t come across as easy to learn for consumers.
Apple studied these mistakes with care- remember Apple Newton.When Iphone was released at first it was popular as it was smart, small, sexy using sensor based touch screen. It was also internet based with multimedia rich applications product. Over the span of few years, many applications were built around it resulting in the tremendous popularity of Iphone.
Numerous multimedia based medical applications were developed in a short span of time which catapulted Iphone as a popular device among the health care community. The use of Multi-touch sensor and also numerous applications built around it are one of the fundamental reasons for the ever rising popularity of I Phones among medical professionals. Apple says that 150,000 existing I Phone apps run on the Ipad today with the numbers increasing every day.
It was then no surprise, that when Ipad which is an evolution from Iphone was released recently, there was tremendous excitement all over the world. Like its Iphone counterpart, it uses the multi-touch user interface, longer battery life, Iphone OS, but with a gigantic glossy 9.7 “screen and also has numerous third applications running on it.
The major advantage of Ipad is that in having a bigger screen, it can easily function as e-book reader, and the muti-touch applications in medical area will make it helpful to health care professionals.
Although, it does have some drawbacks, with the lack of USB port to transfer files from main frame computers and also lack of portable storage media ports.But,this may be the future, with lack of USB and transfer of files with use of Bluetooth/wireless network.
The major concern in the health care world, is what if it is stolen? Will all the important research data or patient record be misused?
This could be answered by the same question as what are your chances of opening your wallet in a busy subway and displaying all your money to public for viewing. What is the probability of your wallet being hacked?
It is important to maintain security of data, and it could be done by using only secure server to store data, and also by using secure password enabled features like IP tracking or Local area secured network environment to prevent unauthorized access to data.
Give a thought, the current Ipad version is only the first generation. In the upcoming years Apple will definitely release numerous updates and modification on Ipad and surely make lot of money. And hopefully make it more sturdy and user friendly for medical applications.
The bottom line is the future is bright for Ipad, Imagine a day, when you visit your physician office and instead of using the clipboard, you are given a Ipad to fill out the forms and review a health education video prior to meeting your health care professional. It surely will help in overcoming the anxiety during the long waiting time.
P.S: One of the tools or products which may be beneficial to health care world is sterilization or cleaning of Ipad when using it in hospital based environment.