Although they might not be the first to come to mind when you think of consumers of cutting-edge phones and other mobile devices, healthcare professionals have been key consumers of portable devices for years. It is not a stretch of the imagination to picture doctors checking their pagers on reruns of ER. Soon it will be hard not to imagine your last doctor appointment where the physician checked your diagnosis on an iPad before writing the prescription.
Just listen to emergency physician, Dr. John Halamka, in a medical community tribute to Steve Jobs, “The laptop was a barrier. It was like a screen being put up between the two of us, my eyes were focused on the laptop and not on the patient. Then the iPad came along and was a game changer because it invites the doctor and the patient to look at this device together.”
With a new FDA-approved app, doctors can use iPhones to view medical scans and new apps are constantly being developed for patients to monitor their own health with iPhones and other mobile devices. Other healthcare apps help autistic children practice life skills with analytics for parents, therapists and other caregivers to recognize the child’s progress.
In addition to using iPads to communicate to others, doctors are also on the audience end of iPad presentations. For example, smartphone and tablet apps aid medical sales forces as seen in the latest case study between Apple and Medtronic. BaseCase also creates interactive sales apps for iPads that are used throughout the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Novartis CEO Jimenez even once said that Apple’s “game-changing” iPads will make it possible for sales representatives to save 205 hours over the course of a year. Doctors have even made clear that they [prefer] for sales representatives to use tablets like the iPad for product presentations. So whether the mobile device is used by doctors, to present to doctors or by the doctor’s patient, smartphones and tablets have certainly found their niche in healthcare.