It seems like the iPad is everywhere these days- from airports to schools to businesses to waiting rooms and this just in- they may be coming soon to a hospital bed side near you.
A University of Chicago study found that the use of the ubiquitous and ever popular Apple tablet may help residents work more efficiently as they learn how to become doctors. In late 2010, the University of Chicago gave iPads to all 115 of their internal medicine residents. The iPads allowed the residents to access patients’ electronic health records along with medical journals and research while also providing them with the convenience of being able to contact other hospital departments regarding continuing patient care almost instantaneously. The iPads could even be used to show patients their own x-rays or tests results.
The lead author of study, Dr. Bhakti Patel, said that medicine in this era has become “very data driven” but, “A lot of people are feeling that they can’t spend a lot of time at the bedside because they are kind of shackled to the computer.” Armed with iPads though, four out of five residents said they worked more efficiently and 68% said they avoided the usual delays that can be pain staking for patients, doctors, and hospitals alike. The study showed that residents ordered the same amount of tests both before and after they were given the iPads, but more tests were placed within two hours of a patient’s hospital admission when the residents were using iPads.
Other specialties at the University of Chicago, and other teaching hospitals, have contacted Patel about implementing the use of the iPad in training. Yan Xiao, from the Baylor Healthcare system, said “There is a lot of interest in using the iPad, not only by residents, but by nurses and others.”
The study, highlighted by Reuters, hit the presses just days before the much anticipated March 16th iPad release. At the time of press, iPad pre-orders were setting records and analysts were predicting Apple to sell 65.6 million iPads this year.