An Aptilon survey says 79 percent of doctors prefer the iPad, while a Mobihealthnews report on a health care tablet war shows increasing competition from Android, HP webOS and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook.
With Apple launching its
iPad 2 on March 11, Aptilon, an online marketing firm in Montreal, has
released the results of a survey revealing that 79 percent of physicians
preferred the iPad, while 12 percent would go for a Windows-based tablet and 9
percent for an Android model.
In addition, about 38
percent of physicians plan to buy an iPad in the coming year, and approximately
59 percent of doctors that own an iPad plan to use it for medical purposes.
Aptilon offers a mobile
marketing service called AxcelRxSM that allows pharmaceutical, biotech and
medical-device firms to advertise and communicate with physicians through the
Web on an iPad in real time. Aptilon's ReachNet network allows more than
450,000 health care professionals to connect.
Aptilon interviewed 341
health care professionals in the United States between Feb. 7 and Feb. 16 for
"The research indicates
that the Apple iPad is going to be an ever more important part of an HCP's
[health care professional's] daily life as a tool to enhance productivity and
remain up to date with the latest developments in their medical field,"
Aptilon's COO Mark Benthin said in a statement. "As the number of HCPs
using iPads increases, Aptilon expects to see increasing opportunities for
interactions between industry professionals and HCPs seeking relevant medical
content using their tablets."
Everyone from enterprise
communication technology specialist Avaya to online health resource WebMD is
designing products for the iPad. In fact, the iPad can even help
stroke victims communicate.
Doctors use iPads to view
medical images, access EHRs (electronic health records) and monitor health
conditions remotely. With the iPad 2 featuring cameras in front and back,
doctors and patients can hold video consultations using the FaceTime application
on the device.
Companies have demonstrated
health care applications on other forthcoming tablets, such as the RIM
BlackBerry PlayBook, and Motion Computing makes a line of rugged tablets
suitable for hospitals. Tablets for the Google Android Honeycomb platform as
well as HP's own webOS will add to the competition in the health care field.
In its report "The
Coming Medical Tablet War," Mobihealthnews.com predicts that more mobile
applications and deployment strategies will develop for the iPad throughout
2011, but Google, HP and RIM will challenge Apple's lead. Google's Android
platform might appeal to health care professionals because of its hardware-intensive
video and 3D imaging, according to Mobihealthnews.
"Google, Research In
Motion and HP have especially promising chances of rocking the iPad from its
podium," Brian Dolan, editor and co-founder of Mobihealthnews, wrote in a blog post.
Meanwhile, the PlayBook's
compatibility with embedded medical devices should appeal to physicians,
according to Mobihealthnews, which predicts that the tablet race will reshape
the health care industry, reduce errors and boost quality of care.
"As the iPad matures
and solidifies its role as an indispensable tool in the doctor's arsenal, a new
generation of tablets will seek to usurp its place," Dolan wrote.
Still, with more than 1,000
health care applications geared toward the iPad and the iPad 2 launching, the
Apple device is a dominant force, particularly with a relatively low price and
solid battery life, Dolan noted.
Support for WiFi, resistance
to dust and liquids, and support for security applications are among the
preferences for health care professionals when choosing a tablet, according to
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.