Friday, October 1, 2010

Cool Technology of the Week

For years, I've said that the ideal computing device for clinicians is simple:

1.  Under 1 pound
2.  8-12 hour battery life
3.  5x7 inch form factor that can fit into an white coat pocket
4.  Easy to disinfect (medicine is messy)
5.  Can be dropped 5 feet onto carpet without significant damage

I predict that the iPad and the plethora of new similar devices are going to be the emerging clinical platform of choice for healthcare in 2011.

The latest announcement from RIM, the Playbook, seems to address my requirements list very well - it's small, lightweight, and advertised as stable/reliable/secure/enterprise ready.

Of course, it will be interesting to watch how the developer marketplace responds given that its operating system (QNX) is not Android nor the iPhone/Ipad iOS.

However, since all my applications are browser-based, in many ways we do not care what device users choose as long as it is secure.

Nirvana for clinical computing devices is finally arriving.   That's cool


Steve Reinecke said...

This is very exciting and I think you are right that this is going to change the way we interact with patients and patient information. How do you see this being different than the current MCA (Mobile Clinical Assistants) from Panansonic (H1) and Motion Computing (C5). They have been around for a while. Also, we see lots of cart based computing devices being used more and more because of the need for secure medication management and other storage and mobility needs.

barakthecat said...

I don’t know that you should hold your breath for this device, they didn’t even demo the actual product or OS at the announcement. And given BlackBerry’s complete lack of experience with this class of device or even touchscreen OSs in general, I’d worry about the final product.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. Keyboard docks can be mounted, placed, transported with ease all over a hospital. They take up less space then desktops and even laptops, and users don't need to wait 10min to log someone off and log themselves on just to write an order or send a page.

Bush here said...

Thanks for thinking out of the box.I agree with you that an off the shelf (cheap and easy to use)device which can replace a doctors file folder will be the right device.
I envision each examination room having one set on the page of each patients records. Doctors making notes and leaving them in the room to go back to the front desk with patient.

Anonymous said...

Secure? How secure does it have to be? All these portable computing devices have at least one weak point if not many. RIM has a good reputation for security but even RIM has some huge security holes. See for example:

Ankur Seth said...

I was about to send you the link about playbook, but seems your blog is as fast as the news...:)

Unknown said...

Mobile computing in healthcare is finally exploding in growth not so much because of the technology itself, but because of huge consumer demand for and growth of social networking. As social networking has become more and more portable, it has/will drive consumer demand across many industries including healthcare, particularly for secure messaging between clinicians and patients, PHRs, M-EMRs, etc. Key will not so much be the technology but instead the rich content and services that can be provided regardless of distance, time, terrain and cost.

Anonymous said...

The Playbook is vaporware, a pre-emptive marketing announcement designed to keep RIM in play while actual products are announced and sold by Apple and Android vendors. The Playbook will not be in channel for six months, at which point you'll have a few dozen Android tablets already available and the specter of iPad 2 looming over the market. Anyone pinning their hopes on Playbook is making a very risky bet, especially when other far more viable technology is readily at hand.

The iPad is too immature to be considered a solution in this space, but an second-gen device with all the features missing in the original (removable storage, camera, multitasking, better UI) would be a more competitive choice.

Android has a better shot at this market, given that you will see smaller devices in the 5x7 size range with cameras, more innovative UIs, better storage, better browsers, etc.

It will be exciting to see what evolves in this space. We are at the early stages of a large market, sort of like wondering what TV would be like after seeing the first Dumont 7" set in 1948.