March 3, 2012
In yet another study, more than 80% of physicians said they own a mobile device capable of downloading apps, and 30% own tablets--compared with an adoption rate of 5% for tablets among the U.S. population, according to a May 2011 survey of 3,798 physicians by QuantiaMD, an online learning community for doctors. Although only 19% said they already used a tablet in a clinical setting to help their practice, 35% said they were "extremely likely to," followed by 30% who were "somewhat likely to." The iPad was found to be the tablet of choice by more than half of respondents (59%), with only a fraction of physicians (3%) reporting they used Android tablets. "Physicians' strong interest in tablet devices indicates this technology will soon command the physician market; there is also strong interest in tablets from healthcare institutions,'' according to QuantiaMD.
Software vendors are entering the market with a vengeance. Among those who have hit the ground running with medical apps for tablets is AirStrip Technologies, which has deployed an FDA-approved platform to allow doctors and nurses to securely access maternal/fetal waveforms, bedside monitors, and pharmacy and lab systems. Drchrono is an EHR for the iPad that gives doctors access to complete records as well as an electronic billing center and electronic check-in form. Doctors can also share clinical notes, access a template library, print medical claims, do scheduling, integrate speech to text, and send electronic prescriptions to any pharmacy in the U.S. The app is available for free on one iPad with subscriptions for additional devices ranging from $99 to $199 per month. MIM Software, a provider of medical imaging software, offers a mobile MIM diagnostic imaging app for the iPad. The company received FDA clearance in December for diagnostic x-ray and ultrasound viewing, along with radiation treatment plan review and approval. It is available from the Apple App Store. Ideal for biology and medical students are the Nova Series apps from 3D4Medical, which offer 360-degree views of different areas of the human body on the iPad. The apps provide searchable indexing and quiz capabilities for a number of different areas that also include fitness and reference. Subscriptions start at $99 for students and range from $999 to $2,999 for faculty groups of up to 100. Epocrates offers drug reference, educational, and clinical apps for the iPad, such as a dermatology image collection and interactive image libraries of the human body for reference, training, and education. Calgary Scientific last fall received FDA clearance to market its ResolutionMD medical imaging app on the iPad. It supports HIPPA compliance and offers interactive 2D MIP/MPR and 3D visualization, and interactive use of MR and CT images.
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