Sunday, April 4, 2010

Doctors diagnose the iPad's usefulness: vital signs looking good

The scenario sounds straight out of a sci-fi movie -- the doctor pulls out her touch-screen tablet computer from the drawer of instruments. She calls up the patient's chart with a few taps and proceeds to add a note to the page with her latest diagnosis. A visualization pops up, and she flips the screen over to give the patient an idea of what ails him.

Doctors are presuming the iPad could make this scene a reality as soon as next week. Seems everybody is buzzing about Apple's new "magical and revolutionary" product, as the company calls it, and that includes MDs in between consultations or surgeries. One in five doctors say they plan to buy an iPad, according to a survey of 350 clinicians by the San Mateo medical software vendor Epocrates.

A UCLA psychiatrist is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his iPad on Saturday. John Luo, an associate professor of critical psychiatry, considers medical apps on his iPhone indispensable. The only thing missing is a sufficiently large screen to share the images with patients, he said.
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