When it comes to talking about iOS devices in healthcare, most of think of doctors carrying iPads the way that they used to carry lengthy paper charts or clipboards. We think about doctors looking at X-rays and other diagnostic tests on an iPad, perhaps even using the iPad to illustrate a broken bone, illness, or surgical procedure.
Doctors, however, aren’t the only healthcare professionals to be embracing mobile technology. A new study shows that the vast majority of nurses have also embraced mobile devices, particularly the iPhone and other smartphones. It also highlights that differing needs of healthcare professionals when it comes to mobile technology.
The study was performed by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), which publishes a wide range of health industry guides and journals in both print and interactive electronic formats.
LWW found that nearly three-quarters of nurses (71%) use an iPhone or other smartphone on the job while two-thirds (66%) of nursing students rely on a smartphone while attending nursing school.
Another major finding was that 85% of nurses and students want app versions of common references guides – including LWW’s Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook. While app versions of handbooks and guides are definitely in demand, they aren’t seen as totally replacing print editions. LWW noted that 89% of nurses want both an app and print version of its upcoming guides.
Although the company didn’t break out statistics in terms of which mobile platforms nurses prefer, it does note that app editions of its various guides are only available for iOS and Android.
Overall, the survey suggests that the primary mobile needs of nurses center around reference materials and guides. While reference sources are commonly used by physicians as well, doctors often cite other uses like access to electronic records, diagnostic images, and reports. Physical therapists also tend use mobile devices, predominantly the iPad, and use them as a way to illustrate conditions and treatments or for administrative work rather than as a reference or clinical records tool. In the end, the varying uses for iOS devices in healthcare really highlight the versatility of the iPad and iPhone as professional devices.