Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Slate Tablet Revolution

Here's a link to my Mobile Medical Minute piece on ReachMD:

A few years ago, industry experts predicted that doctors would trade in paper records and desktop computers for slate tablet computers. It didn't catch on. But the Apple iPad has re-ignited those predictions— and this time, the revolution, says Dr. Joseph Kim, author of the blog, is likely.

The slate tablet revolution is coming to healthcare. It’s just a little later than originally predicted.


You’re listening to the ReachMD Mobile Medical Minute. I’m Dr. Joseph Kim.


Just a few years ago, we saw a mini explosion in the tablet PC industry. Experts predicted doctors would start carrying tablet computers around the hospital, using them to access electronic health records and enter digital orders.

But the adoption rate turned out to be very low. Physicians were used to the keyboard and mouse. They weren’t comfortable with pen-based computing and the slate form factor. Those who did buy convertible tablets, used them mainly as laptops.

Now, experts in the computing industry are predicting again, THIS will be the year of the slate tablet.

The Apple iPad is a big part of the reason. It’s thinner, lighter, and more cost-effective than previous slate computers.

So - is slate tablet computing just a fad, or is the healthcare industry truly on the brink of change?

I think the trend is going to permeate the healthcare industry. These newer tablets are so much more convenient than desktop computers or even laptops— and they’re certainly more convenient than paper. On a screen you can carry with you and hold in one hand you can access patient labs, view imaging results, and search the Internet whenever you need to. Compare that to flipping through the pages of a paper chart.

Other manufacturers are following Apple’s lead. User-friendly slate tablets are coming out running Google’s Android operating system, webOS, and there are rumors about a BlackBerry tablet.

The slate tablet revolution has begun. So get ready – because it’s only going to ramp up in the next year.


I’m Dr. Joseph Kim, for the ReachMD Mobile Medical Minute — helping you stay smarter than your Smart Devices. For more news and education, go to, and for more on mobile medical devices, visit my blog,

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