Healthcare News & Insights

6 factors to consider when choosing a medical tablet

The iPad is the most popular tablet available, but is it the most practical for doctors? As more doctors start using those mobile devices, health IT managers must decide which tablets make the most sense for their organization’s physicians.

According to QuantiaMD, while only 5% of U.S. consumers are currently using tablet devices, 30% of physicians have jumped on the bandwagon, and 19% use their tablets in a clinical setting.

Apps aiding in patient diagnoses and treatments, as well as drug and treatment reference materials and research, are the top professional activities among doctors.

Healthcare execs and IT managers should be careful about choosing tablets for doctors or allowing them to bring in their own personal devices. Despite all the benefits, using tablets ill-suited for your healthcare organization could have negative consequences for information security and patient care.

Here are six things to take into consideration when addressing the tablet craze:

  1. Device ownership – Does your organization plan to provide mobile devices/tablets? If doctors will use their own tablets, you must have a way of making sure they can be used securely.
  2. Mobility – How mobile are your physicians? Are they in an office/hospital setting almost 100% of the time? Do they plan to conduct remote consultations with patients? That will affect what kind of connectivity options a tablet must be equipped with.
  3. Battery life – If doctors will be using their tablets offsite for long hours, invest in devices with a long battery life and/or short recharge time.
  4. Available apps – Different tablets run different apps, so make sure doctors have one that supports all the apps they need.
  5. Central file system – The Android operating system includes a centralized file system. The iPad lacks this, meaning files might not be easily movable from one app to another.
  6. Note-taking style – Certain tablets allow freehand sketching and longhand note-taking, which some doctors may prefer.

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