The iPad’s design and capabilities have always made it intriguing option for doctors and other healthcare providers. Shortly after Apple launched the iPad two years ago, technophile doctors began bringing them into their offices and a number of hospitals began launching pilot programs centered around it.
That initial burst of interest and enthusiasm hasn’t slowed in the slightest according to a new report from Manhattan Research. In fact, iPad use by U.S. doctors has nearly doubled in the past year and adoption is set to continue at a meteoric rate over the next twelve months.
The report noted that physician iPad adoption has soared and that 62% of U.S. doctors reporting using one for professional purposes. Half of iPad-owning doctors also reported using their device at the point of care (exam room, hospital, and so forth).
The iPad’s design offers a lot of promise and problem solving in point of care use. It offers the benefits of electronic medical records in a form that’s similar to a paper chart and that doesn’t create a barrier between doctor and patient – a common complaint about laptops used for similar purposes. It also offers doctors the ability quickly (and somewhat more accurately) illustrate injuries, conditions, and treatment options to patients. Outside point of care use, the iPad (and the iPhone) offer instant access to all kinds of medical references.
“Physicians are evolving in ways we expected – only faster,” noted Monique Levy, vice president of research for Manhattan Research.
Going forward, the research firm expects to see even greater adoption and is predicting that two third’s of U.S. physicians will be using iPad’s professional by 2013. That puts them a bit ahead of the curve compared to doctors in Europe, where a similar study showed 26% of doctors owed iPads and used them professionally.
Beyond the iPad, the study also showed that 85% of doctors use a smartphone professionally and that two thirds of doctors are now using online video sources to expand and update their skills.