Apple is one of the strongest players in the tablet business. With the introduction of iPad in 2010, Apple essentially made the tablet market boom. There has been a lot of enthusiasm in the medical world for iPads and most of the important medicinal and health apps are optimized for the user interface and the large screen of iPads.
Internal medicine residents were offered iPads at the University of Chicago as a part of a study to find how it can be used in the medical world. The residents gave “rave reviews” to the iPad usage, owing to the capability to access patient records on the move and to share data with patients.
We all know that Apple is not the only player in the tablet market. There are many tablet models that run on versions of the Android operating system. However, iPad and other iOS powered devices are capable of aggregating a large customer pool wherever they can. Any tablet, whether an iPad or Android-powered one, is capable of offering real time clinical use and can allow interaction with healthcare data systems.
There are many uses for Android tablets in hospitals.
• Electronic Health Record vendors and hospital information services favor the use of standardized applications and deployment of hardware for ease of maintenance and security.
• Vendors will be able to customize the Android operating system as it is an open OS and Google exerts their control only while accessing the Android market.
• Download of paid apps will decrease as the real value has shifted to the connectivity with other apps.
Many hospitals in the country have adopted usage of tablets and they have developed applications that let their doctors have full access to the health records of various patients. These apps promise connectivity to the major EHR systems like Cerner, Veterans Administration’s VistA system, and NextGen. Hospitals have even started to acquire low cost tablets from wholesale tablet dealers to offer them to their healthcare staff.
As these tablets might have their operating systems modified, they will not allow access to the Android market or other user interactions. This minimalistic use of these bulk tablets in hospitals will simplify maintenance of the devices and the hardware choices can be kept to the minimum, just enough to run the required medicinal and health applications.