We recently reported our interview with Dr. Henry Feldman of the Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston and his experience using the iPad as his sole computing device while attending on the wards. Overall, his experience was positive, while accessing the hospital networks, using clinical applications and questions about security. Be sure also to check out Future Docs blog and Dr. Arora’s experience using the iPad on the wards to get more real-world perspectives on using the iPad on the wards.

Among the few difficulties Dr. Feldman had, one was that typing long notes on the glass keyboard was cumbersome, requiring the use a desktop computer for admission and discharge notes. This may now turn out to be one of the easiest problems to solve, if two recently announced iPad cases are any indication.

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Sena and Kensington are both releasing iPad cases with built-in bluetooth keyboards. Each has a built in battery and the cases fold into dimensions not much larger than a standard iPad case.

Kensington’s case advertises a 3 month battery time for the keyboard while Sena claims 45 hours – it is not quite clear how these are to be compared. Both cases appear attractive although only Sena’s case seems to have a kick-stand to allow the screen to stand in a stable manner. Unfortunately, both cases seem to be made from patent-leather or a similar appearing material, so may not hold up optimally with repeated cleaning and contact with hand-disinfectant, realities of medical life. The cases retail for $100-150 so will not likely be impulse purchases. If any readers have hand-on experiences, please share with us !

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