Mac Tablet: potential best seller in healthcare?

There have been a lot of rumors about an upcoming Apple “iTablet.” Just as this could be a success in the consumer market, it could be a huge bestseller in healthcare. Why?

Well, a Mac Tablet would be the ultimate user interface for electronic medical records (EMR) software. With a touch-screen display like the iPhone, it could help physicians speed up normal EMR operations. For example, when physicians evaluate a patient’s illness, they have to enter an evaluation and management (E&M) code into the EMR. The code represents what service the physician performed during the visit. This process would be simplified using a Mac Tablet; the doctor could “dial in” the code with a swipe of a finger.

Or consider the innovative mash-ups that could be created using existing technology. Here’s one for starters: using Google search by voice, physicians could recite a disease into the Mac Tablet, then receive a list of diagnosis codes. This would be especially useful as there are thousands of diagnosis codes and many of them are revised on a regular basis.

Second to it’s applicability to medical records, Apple would be a winner in healthcare because of their attention to usability. The number one hurdle to EMR adoption has been ease-of-use. So an entrant to the market like Apple – known for intuitive design – would be welcomed by physicians. Moreover, the EMR market is growing due to subsidies outlined in the Stimulus Bill. Apple could become a leader in healthcare, just as they have in other verticals (publishing, digital media, education).

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