It seems like its only a matter of time before iPad technologies in doctors’ offices and hospitals become as commonplace as many of the familiar sights when a patient visits a medical center. An article outlining physicians’ growing affinity for the iPad demonstrates many key points ranging from the mobility and portability of the devices and information, to the interactive characteristics allowing for patients to see their charts and diagnostic images instantly on a touchscreen. A patient’s ability to see an image of an ailment has a great impact in helping them to understand the information, and take the necessary steps to stay healthy. Dr. John Halamka, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA went so far as to say the iPad “will change the way doctors practice medicine.’’ “The secret for the ideal clinical device,’’ he said, “is it has to weigh a pound, it has to last 10 hours, because that’s their shift, you have to be able to disinfect it so there’s no risk of contamination, and you have to be able to drop it 5 feet onto carpet without damage.’’ GE Healthcare recently announced they are partnering with AirStrip Technologies to put data from GE Healthcare MUSE Cardiology Information System onto the iPhone and iPad via the Airstrip Cardiology mobile application. Doctors will be able to view current and historical data from ECGs helping to make informed decisions more quickly with an iPad. Many healthcare information technology vendors, including Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and surgical instrument companies are shifting part of their focus into developing systems that are not only innovative, but also simple for doctors to learn how to use. Solutions that are mobile, compatible with other devices and software, and use the cloud computing for information storage and easy accessibility tend to be the most desired.
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