iPad EMR

EMR and EHR has been getting a ton of traffic related to my posts on the iPad EMR. It’s a really interesting discussion that I think people that love technology and EMR will enjoy. I have no doubt that the interface that the iPad is helping to promote and develop is going to have a major impact on healthcare. Not that everyone will have an iPad in healthcare, but that the technology behind it will be copied and we’ll see lots of interesting documentation methods for EMR software.

Dr. Larry Nathanson, MD from BIDMC seems to disagree with me in his writeup about his experience using the iPad in an Emergency Room. However, what I found most interesting about his writeup is his comments about the challenges of the iPad.

The first was how well it will hold up in a clinical environment. The iPad doesn’t seem to be the most rugged device and clinics like to abuse devices (from my experience). The second was the challenge that plagues all tablets: difficulty entering strong passwords. between the numbers, symbols and mixed case, it’s harder to enter these passwords on a device like the iPad. Is biometrics the solution to that?

What do you all think about the iPad and EMR? Will we see an iPad only EMR develop into a real power player in the industry?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I have to believe that, in time, the iPad will become a player in the EHR industry. Apple surely knows that a large market exists in the HIT field, and it’s only a matter of time before the comment and suggestions from early adopters reach the ears of Apple execs. Some of these suggestions will be from tech savvy doctors who are hoping that this device will improve their workflow, and if Apple is smart, they will deliver solutions.

  • Agree with Sean that Apple has got to know about the HIT market and will make a play. Also sure some company will make a nice case for it to increase durability. Just thinking about how MDs hate to sit away from patients behind a computer. iPad(and newer tablets in General) with the right software can enable a provider to sit next to a patient and update the chart like they did (do) with paper charts…

  • I jwrote a piece about the potential for iPads in the ED — it’s up now at EPMonthly.

    I thought I was being reasonable with my (slow) timetable for iPad-EMR integration but look at the vendor who left the first comment!

  • The iPad technology is poised to revolutionize EMR’s front end. IT wont be the apple iPad, because it is not able to withstand the riggers of constant dropping and tossing. But, medical tablet vendors need to step uo to the plate and work with Apple on a “medical” grade iPad, what a wonderful thought. Though, if doctors were forced to buy thier own equipment would they take care of it better?? I digress. One caveat is that vendors must open up the standards of the front end for their applications so that doctors and other staff can use it on any platform without doing work-arounds to get applications working on what vendors deem a non-standard platforms. Otherwise, the iPad will be a nice to have, but ultimately useless as a gateway to an EMR to all but a few that have the funds to maintain the hardware and software.

  • Just started using iPad today as front end to open source EMR in Canada…. OSCAR. Wonderful.

  • Old thread, but worthy of comment.

    Let me simplify this for you…

    Ford does not make ambulances or fire trucks. They make the chassis. It is up to independent companies to build upon the base that is made by Ford.

    Apple makes iPads, not EMR devices. Someone in the market will build upon it, not Apple. Apple will, however, provide the bas tools such as security functionality.

  • Nothing wrong with bringing to life and old thread.

    Yes, I agree that Apple just makes the device and others must innovate on top. Although, that still leaves the important question of whether someone will see the iPad that Apple has launched as a good platform to create an innovative EMR.

  • Our company “Lightning Charts” just returned from the ACEP conference in Denver. As we were performing demos of our version 2 to the clients and more than half pulled the IPAD from our hand and started charting themselves without any training. After 10 years in the business and looking at many so called easy EMR programs I found Lightning Charts the easiest. If you can’t chart patients in 1 hour using this application, then you shouldn’t be practicing medicine. The IPAD is becoming the way of ease and swiftness due to familiarity. I think we have somehow answered the call for charting at the bedside and on the fly.
    We use a system called “Dynamic” charting that no-one else uses and if you need any more info then PLEASE call me at 813 759-3743. Or send me an email to Michael.dilts@lightningcharts.com.

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