Modo is a specialized design firm that makes medical carts. Their customers include just about every large equipment manufacturer in the health care field, including Medtronic, Philips, Siemens, Baxter and many others.

Having glimpsed the rapidly rising popularity of tablet computers, the company just revealed their sleek design for “Feather”, a medical cart designed expressly for an iPad or similarly sized computer.

Some of the design features for Feather include:

  • “whisper quiet” wheels that will not disturb patients
  • small footprint that can accommodate crowded hospital hallways and rooms
  • simple lines and finishes that allow for easy cleaning

An iPad or similarly sized tablet computer is secured using a standard VESA mount – it can then be rotated between vertical or horizontal positions. There is workspace in front for a bluetooth keyboard and a small cubby in the rear for equipment.

While an iPad or similar device is easy enough to carry by hand, Modo president/CEO Bob Marchant points out

It is hard to palpitate a chest or use a stethoscope while holding an iPad. Feather is not intended to support the iPad. It supports the activity the iPad is used for and that could include sharing diagnostic information or walking a patient through a care plan. Feather also puts the iPad on neutral ground to give the patient control of the navigation experience….It means the patient and the doctor are working together to navigate a care plan or review an image.

Those familiar with morning rounds on services such as medicine may be familiar with computer / laptop carts. These can often times be essential when you’re with a large team, and seeing many patients. Having a portable method to transport a laptop is key because you’re able to input patient orders and write notes while seeing patients at the same time. Academic centers would be one obvious demographic that could use this type of cart.

The other key demographic would be healthcare practitioners in the clinic setting. One of the toughest parts of having a netbook or tablet computer in a patient encounter is making sure to have eye contact while taking notes. A cart such as this helps in this role by allowing you flexibility in height and stance – improving your eye contact.

Interestingly, if you look closely at the last picture, the iPad is running Dr. Chrono, the first native electronic medical record for the iPad. And this raises another topic – an “iPad medical stand” is a great idea – but you need solid electronic medical record software first.

We would be curious to hear from our readers, do you think a small cart would make a tablet computer more useful in the hospital or health care setting?