A few weeks ago Apple announced an event to be scheduled on January 27th, at 10am. The invitation read, “Come see our latest creation.” Most of the tech community has all but assumed this event will be used to launch the much anticipated and hyped Apple tablet.
The hype machine has reached fever pitch, with analysts and bloggers salivating at how this Apple product will “revolutionize” the Tablet platform, similar to what the iPhone did for the mobile phone. The medical community has good reason to be excited since tablets are used by many healthcare providers and because the iPhone has proved to be a game changer in healthcare.
The iPhone has been a key player in allowing healthcare providers to feel more comfortable with Apple products. Its easy-to-use operating system (OS) has allowed many who would never think of using an Apple OS to reconsider.
Patients could also benefit from the Apple Tablet. One of the less noticed innovations resulting from the iPhone / iPod Touch platform was the great boom in speech software for patients with Down syndrome, autism, stroke and other speech-impairing conditions. Many parents swear by applications found in the App Store for their children, saying they work better and cost them thousands of dollars less than traditional speech software.
Seeing these innovative applications on the larger and more powerful Apple Tablet would only improve their effectiveness, and allow for even more innovative applications to be ushered in for patient care. We discussed some of these possible innovations in a recent post.
When it comes to actual healthcare providers using the Apple tablet, there are definite pitfalls that would prevent widespread adoption. One of the biggest is Apple’s history with non-removable batteries. If their iteration of the Tablet has only 3 to 5 hours of battery life, akin to laptops, and does not include a removable battery, it could be a huge blow to their efforts to be embraced by the healthcare community.
Apple’s Wednesday event is going to be their most watched product launch since the first iPhone 2G, and stakeholders across healthcare will be keeping close watch. Will it affect healthcare at all? There’s a good chance.
Iltifat Husain is founder and editor of iMedicalApps.com.
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