Since its release, the iPad has gained unprecedented popularity, becoming the go-to tablet in many different fields. The projected sales prediction of this compact tablet went from 5 million to 12.9 million during 2010. In the healthcare field, the iPad continues to gain popularity, with more and more doctors expressing interest in and beginning to use the iPad in their daily work.
Even before its introduction, there was already interest in the iPad from medical doctors. An Epocrates Survey released in February 2010 informed that 21 percent of physicians polled planned to get the iPad as soon as it was available or at least within the first year and that another 38 percent wanted more information about the iPad before making their purchasing decisions.
According to a Software Advice poll of 178 health professionals/students, in looking to purchase a tablet for use in the healthcare field, there are some “must-haves” that the tablet must possess. These must-haves range from having WiFi access to a build that is resistant to dust and liquid while having lightweight hardware. They include having fingerprint access, barcode scanning, and an integrated camera. It is essential for anyone interested in a medical assisting career to understand this new technology.
The iPad provides most of these “must-have” features. And although it faces tough competition from other tablets such as the Motion CS, the Panasonic Toughbook H1, the BlackBerry Blackpad, Dell Streak and Cisco Cius, the iPad is rapidly becoming the preferred tablet. The more than 300 Medical Apps for iPad also add to its allure. 92 of these Apps are available for free.
There are many medical centers already experimenting with the use of iPads for patient communication and treatment. Kobe University has been using the iPad as a display unit during surgery while Kaweah Delta Health Care District uses it for EKG, X-Ray and patient monitoring. Cedars-Sinai’s doctors use it during rounds to input patient information, and Children’s Hospital of St. Louis uses it for patient education, distraction and preparation. The iPad is integrated smoothly into the day-to-day activities at these health care centers and is a comfortable, non-intimidating table that doctors and their medical assistants can use easily to find condition and treatment information as well as to educate their patients.