Computer maker Dell announced it is expanding its electronic medical records (EMR) and Mobile Clinical Computing (MCC) solutions to include the Google Android-powered Streak 5-inch tablet. The integration with the Streak is designed to help reduce compatibility issues that can surface between PDAs, smartphones and health information systems. Dell said hospitals and physicians will be able to order the Streak this fall as an integrated component of Dell's EMR and MCC solutions.
The Streak integrates with Dell's EMR technology bundle, and is designed to make HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance easier because patient information resides in Dell's health care enterprise hosting center or the hospital's data center, but not on the device. Dell's MCC solution provides clinicians with access to patient information via stationary or mobile devices throughout the hospital. The solution is designed to limit access to information based on clinician credentials and by securing applications and patient information in the data center.
According to a report from Manhattan Research, 64 percent of physicians currently use smartphone technology, and they are adopting smartphones more rapidly than any other form of health care IT. The study found 72 percent of doctors use smartphones for both personal and professional use, with the number expected to increase to 81 percent in 2012. An earlier survey by research firm Spyglass Consulting Group found 94 percent of physicians use smartphones for both personal and professional functions, including at the point of care.
Dell said the device is well-suited to physicians and hospitals because of its light weight (220 grams) and a compact form factor that is small enough to fit in a lab coat. The Streak can also be integrated into Dell's health care enterprise systems and solutions, turning the device into an extension of the hospital's information sharing platform. When integrated with Dell's EMR and MCC solutions and future health care offerings, applications and patient data can be protected and secured in the data center, not on the device, which Dell said increases the security of sensitive medical information.
"With the Streak integrated into our solution portfolio, we are making electronic patient information accessible to physicians and clinicians in a form factor that is easy for them to use," said Jamie Coffin, vice president of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences. "In the future, we will extend the accessibility of medical information throughout the health care ecosystem with the introduction of additional mobility offerings."
The company also noted that while Dell products are designed to meet product certification requirements for use in general administrative and information processing environments within medical facilities, its products are not designed or certified for direct patient contact or for use as medical equipment or medical devices. In addition, Dell products are not designed or certified for use within six feet of a patient or explosive present.
The Streak, expected to compete with Apple's iPad tablet and rival devices from Samsung (the Galaxy Tab) and Toshiba (the Folio 100), offers two cameras, a 5-megapixel one with dual-LED flash on the back and a VGA-resolution one on the front for video calling; both are capable of video. While unconfirmed by Dell, rumors have surfaced regarding development of 7-inch and 10-inch models. The 7-inch model is expected to launch in late 2010 and the 10-inch model in early 2011, according to various reports.