iPad Adoption Slow in Healthcare

At least that’s the case that was made in this blog post on the Software Advice website. The post is a few months old which is centuries in the tech world, but I have to disagree with them on their take that EMR vendors are slow to move their products to the iPad platform. In fact, I mentioned in their comments that I think every single EMR vendor has an iPad strategy.

They do get it right that doctors are adopting the iPad at a really dramatic pace. Here’s my reasons why it’s been so popular:
1. Battery life that lasts a full shift
2. 3G and Wireless Connectivity
3. Intuitive interface
4. $500 price point

We’re still waiting on some enterprise features that it seems like the Blackberry Playbook is trying to implement for healthcare. However, I’m pretty sure they’ll get there in time or someone will create an app that will create those features anyway.

Back to the iPad, the article only states 2 companies that have an iPad EMR offering. There are many more than that. I’ve seen some from Practice Fusion, GE, and VitalHealth to just name a few.

What I haven’t yet seen is how well doctors like the use of their EMR iPad interface. Is it really that usable for a doctor doing his rounds? Does it work well for clinical documentation? Is it a nice compliment to a desktop environment?

Sadly, I still can’t give my first hand account of using an EMR on an iPad. I got my refund from HIMSS since despite all the free iPad giveaways I came home without one. Oh well, the iPad 2 is out now and it would have been a shame to only won a first generation iPad. I’m told by Christmas there may even be an iPad 3, but I digress.

What might even be more interesting than EMR use on an iPad is the other creative ways that people are using iPads in healthcare. For example, I’ve heard of people using an iPad as a check in device for their clinics. There’s something cool about handing over an iPad instead of a clipboard for your patients to fill out their paperwork. I’m sure some patients would hate it, but I for one would be much happier feeling out the stack of paperwork electronically.

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.


  • Glad to see that I wasn’t the only one to come away from HIMSS11 without an iPad. If I had it would be on eBay right now so that I could justify getting the iPad 2

    I think there is a great deal of confusion in the market about what’s an iPad app and what can be accessed with an iPad through either a standard web browser or a web-app. I don’t think PF has an actual App. Don’t they actually just allow you to remote in using the logmein (or one of their competitors) app?

    I was talking to a company last week that claimed an app but they didn’t actually have one. They just had web-app that accessed a hosted system.

    There are way to many closely worded terms when it comes to iPad apps and healthcare.

  • It’s true that there could be some confusion when it comes to defining an iPad app. Although, I’d consider something that’s web based like Practice Fusion close to an app. Any sort of remote desktop I feel is in a different category, but access to a web version of the app is reasonable to me. Although, I guess you could differentiate between web versions that leverage the iPad touch technology.

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