Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Will doctors embrace the slate tablet as EHRs penetrate the marketplace?

We all know that electronic health records or EHRs are actively penetrating the market because of the HITECH Act. Will doctors embrace the slate tablet? Or will they stick with the old keyboard and mouse?

We're seeing more slate devices like the Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, and even some Android and webOS powered slates gaining popularity this year. How will this trend influence busy practitioners who need to enter information and look up data at the point of care? Whether you're in a hospital or in a private office, you want to access data quickly and you want to minimize the steps and clicks to perform essential tasks within your EHR.

What I'm finding is that more and more medical students are residents are eagerly adopting new technology like the iPad and they are also relying more heavily on their smartphones to look up medical information. In the past, many of us used standalone PDAs that were not constantly connected to the Internet. Now, you can carry the entire web in your coat pocket. By using a slightly larger device that has a big screen, you can quickly access vital information on the Internet and also navigate through your EHR on a mobile device like the iPad.

So, will doctors soon embrace slate tablets? The nice thing about a slate is that you can use them while you're standing. No need to find a desk or table. You can also draw and mark things quickly and efficiently on a slate computer. My hope is that we'll soon see more thin and light slates that also offer pen-based input.

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