The rumor mill keeps on churning with the soon to be released Apple Tablet, and now the medical community is supposedly involved. According to an article by VentureBeat, Apple Reps have been talking to the Los Angeles Cedars – Sinai Medical Center about the potential of an Apple Tablet for medical professionals.
The article goes on to mention one of the reasons why tablets haven’t been universally embraced by medical professionals:
We’ve been told for years that medical professionals were the guaranteed-to-succeed market for tablets. Bill Gates raved about his in 2006. But tablets like the Dell Latitude XT2 XFR, pictured above, have stiffed again and again, in part because of their ungainly laptop-with-a-backwards-facing-display design.
I’ve mentioned in a previous post why the Apple Table could be a huge success in the medical industry, and it’s not because of form factor. I can’t emphasize this enough. There is this idea in the tech community that bulky tablets are why you don’t see medical providers using tablets for electronic medical records. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In my previous post I talk about how the User Interface of potential Electronic Medical Records in a native Operating System made by Apple would be one of the keys to success.
A nice looking tablet PC for medical professionals is already available. The Motion C5 is viewed as a great Tablet for medical professionals, it’s a clipboard like computer that has an RFID reader, photo capability, and other nice features. Basically, its a slim tablet with a nice form factor.
One of the largest barriers holding back medical tablet PC’s are the hundreds of iterations of Electronic Medical Records(EMR) that are too complicated and not easy to use. The User Interface and workflow on the EMR software is certainly functional, but not fun to use. One would think an EMR program that has the Apple touch would be significantly more aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and functional at the same time. All qualities Apple is famous for.
I doubt Apple is going to be designing these EMR programs, but at the same time, we’ve seen how controlling Apple is about software running on its devices (think App Store). I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple leveraged their hardware to force EMR companies to design better software in tune with Apple’s core principals. Surprisingly, Apple’s desire for control might actually help with the progression of electronic medical records. In the upcoming weeks this is a topic we’ll discuss in detail to a greater length.