In an interview last week with InformationWeek--on the day Apple finally introduced its much anticipated tablet-- Motion Computing VP of marketing Michael Stinson didn't seem too worried about iPad's prospects in the healthcare market--at least not for now.
That's because unlike Motion Computing's healthcare offering--the C5 (and presumably Motion Computing's upcoming new model,) iPad isn't equipped with many of the sort of key features clinicians tend to look for in mobile computing devices.
That includes being ruggedized for falls onto hard hospital floors, or regular swipes of disinfectant cleaners.
Motion's C5 is equipped with a barcode scanner and RFID reader-- features increasingly important for drug safety and supply chain/inventory applications within hospital environments, said Stinson.
Apple's iPad also lacks a camera, which is key to increasing use of telemedicine applications.
And as others have pointed out--including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka--Apple's iPad is a bit too big to fit into a clinician's "white coat" pocket.
Still, that's also the case for most of the other tablet products on the market right now, including Motion Computing's C5, which at 3-1/2 pounds is also too heavy to carry around in a lab coat.
"It's not uncommon to see [the C5] used with a cart," in any of the 4,000 hospitals worldwide that use Motion Computing's mobile devices today, Stinson said.
An important factor moving forward for the iPad and its potential in healthcare environments will be the sorts of third-party applications that get developed for the device, and whether they fit an untapped need not being met by other tablets.
Blue Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and a range of large and small healthcare providers are using mobile apps to improve care and help patients manage their health. Find out how. Download the report here (registration required).