Apple says that the iPad fills a niche between smart phones and PCs. It’s a tablet because the size is smaller than a PC and bigger than a smart device. The size and portability of the iPad makes it a good candidate for a portable terminal – one that could be used in physician’s offices or hospitals. Imagine if doctors and nurses could pull up a patient’s record from an EHR, check patient history, update entries, check for drug interactions before sending prescriptions to the pharmacy, review x-rays and then go to the next patient with the same tablet. It would eliminate the need for a PC in every examining room, potentially improve security because the screen isn’t sitting upright on a desk that passersby can view, and maybe even save a few bucks. A portable device allows for documentation and orders at the point of patient service for the caregivers.
So far, it looks like the iPad currently uses applications on the internet, but doesn’t connect to an intranet and server where EHR and patient management systems reside. Maybe an EHR vendor will partner with an iPad developer to create a new solution that will be revolutionary and magical for patient care.