Monday, March 29, 2010

The iPad as a patient empowerment tool

Patients want to be empowered. Physicians want their patients to improve the self-management of chronic conditions. Will the new Apple iPad bridge some of these gaps and become an effective patient empowerment tool?

On one hand, the iPad can be used by health care providers to teach patients about diseases and conditions. Imagine if every patient went to a doctor's visit with an iPad. The doctor could help the patient record some notes, access important patient education materials, and could also provide the patient with some digital media that could be used to help that patient manage his/her disease when he/she returns home. Patients frequently forget the majority of the conversation after leaving the doctor's office, so why not leverage digital media technology to capture some of the key points during that encounter with the physician?

When the patient gets home, imagine if he/she were to use the iPad as an entertainment device. Suddenly, the device could beep and remind the patient to take his/her pills. Also, a reminder could pop up to remind the patient to watch the disease management video that highlights some of the lifestyle modifications this patient needs to make over the next few weeks. The patient could record progress on the iPad and take the device to his/her next visit.
  • The large screen on the iPad is ideal for those who have poor vision.
  • The iPad is thin and light. It can be carried almost anywhere.
  • Most doctors will know how to use an iPad. Don't they already use the iPhone?
  • The iPad is easy for many people to use. After all, who's never used an iPod touch or an iPhone?
  • The multimedia capabilities found on the iPad can be used to teach and empower patients.
Some have said that 2010 will be the year of the tablet PC. I think it's going to be the year when mobile slate devices begin to revolutionize health care.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your evaluation of the advantages the iPad may have in store for health care. As a provider of the OnlineConsulation, a video conference between doctors and patients, we equally see its use as a portable notepad in hospitals and generally in the treatment of patients.

    We blogged about this in January at: