Monday, January 10, 2011

The Slate Tablet is Here to Stay

Author: Riley Alexander, MD, MBA

As the tech world's big event, CES, wraps up this weekend, one type of device seemed to be the center of attention: the tablet computer. From the big display of new Android Honeycomb tablets, to those with Windows 7 and even RIM's entry (which looks much more exciting than anything they've done with their phones in the past few years), it seems the iPad has finally turned this market a truly viable one. The real question for us on this blog is how long will it take the medical world to adopt these devices?

With every hospital system I've worked in running a bloated EMR on underpowered computers still chugging along on Windows XP (which turns 10 this year), the tablet seems like a perfect device for the physician. Long battery-life, instant-on capabilities, much greater portability and the stability of an app-driven OS offer distinct advantages over desktop and laptop stations within the hospital.

A listing and comparison of some of the more popular tablets has been posted on here previously and Engadget provided a very thorough round-up of all of the new entries from CES here. With details on the iPad 2 rumored to drop soon, this segment is poised to really take off in 2011. I know I will be looking forward to Apple to surprise with some killer new feature on it.

We can only hope that our hospitals will be full of these soon

Dr. Riley Alexander is a pathology resident at Indiana University School of Medicine, blog "addict" and avid follower of technology. His primary interests revolve around how technology, especially mobile, will create increased efficiency, enhanced physician education and better delivery of care in the medical field. Dr. Alexander is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine with a combined MD/MBA, in partnership with IU's Kelley School of Business. Due to this, he is also very interested in management, healthcare policy and non-clinical aspects of the medical field and enjoys exploring non-clinical opportunities for medical students, residents and physicians. He completed his undergraduate education at IU-Bloomington.

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