One of the issues we’ve discussed previously is that, when it comes to iPhone and iPad acceptance in healthcare, compatibility with the more traditional enterprise solutions could turn out to be a problem for large scale adoption of iOS 4 devices.
There was a fair amount of concern that the iPhone and iPad, as consumer electronics, would lack the necessary business-oriented features to ever be widely adopted by corporate America, let alone healthcare.
However, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple may be making major inroads when it comes to adoption as a business-wide mobile solution and this time with the blessing of corporate IT.
The vast majority of electronic medical records run on Microsoft Windows-based and Exchange-based operating systems and servers. Additionally, the traditional stalwarts of mobile enterprise solutions – Blackberry and laptops running Windows – were tried and true products when it came to the ability of IT departments to maintain secure, centrally controlled networks for their companies. However, according to the WSJ,
Businesses are behaving differently with the iPad, in large part because the new device is starting out as more of a known quantity from a technical standpoint. The iPad runs the same operating software as the iPhone, which has been enhanced with a number of business-friendly features.
Some of these enhancements include the ability to internally distribute apps via a corporate network, thus bypassing the App Store, as well as improved techniques for securely connecting to a corporate network. Healthcare is traditionally a late-adopter of non-healthcare technology (i.e. everything but the latest and greatest imaging and procedure modalities).
So the note in the article regarding testing being conducted at Kaiser Permanente’s tech lab in California is particularly exciting. Kaiser is working with the iPad for viewing medical imaging, working with an unspecified EMR, and more. All in all, these developments bode well for the adoption of the iPhone and iPad as a mainstream, IT-blessed mobile healthcare solution.