Three years ago today Apple sold the first iPad and in such a short space of time the tablet has had a profound effect on the healthcare industry. Only in its third phase of development, the iPad has already changed the way healthcare professionals interact with patients, access medical records, source information and professional journals and communicate with each another.
The iPad has also sparked a new BYOD trend in the healthcare arena, giving physicians and healthcare executives the ability to work efficiently on a device of their choice. Famed for its usability the iPad has also encourage many physicians to engage with online tools, making patient communication much more efficient.
There are some clear advantages with BYOD in the health arena, the main plus points being that employees become more productive and even work longer hours while healthcare institutions – in theory at least – save on costsand training while embracing the latest technology.
Mass App Uptake
The birth of the iPad has also led to a huge increase in the number of mHealth apps. Before, healthcare professionals and executives had limited access to a small number of software solutions, which were accessible from either a desktop or laptop computer only. Today, solutions from EHR to financing, HR to medical information can all be accessed on the move and synced with a number of different devices.
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Healthcare In The Cloud
As the iPad has risen in popularity so has the popularity of cloud-based mHealth apps and software solutions. Many hospitals and healthcare institutions now store important information securely in the cloud, so it is accessible from a number of portable devices both on and off site. This level of accessibility – while it comes with its own set of security concerns - has proven to be hugely beneficial in the healthcare sector.
As well as sharing information, accessing healthcare records and interacting with patients, the iPad has also facilitated a number of innovative patient / doctor communication systems that have helped save time, money and resources within the sector, namely the iRobot and virtual doctors offices, that allow patients to communicate with doctors face to face whilst being in different locations. This technology has also made dramatic improvements to healthcare facilities in rural locations and developing countries.
If the iPad can achieve this in just three years, we have to ask what other advancements and changes it will facilitate as it develops.