How the iPad has modernized hospitals and patient reception

October 4, 2011

We previously discussed here on the blog how the use of Internet and smartphones has changed the way patients and physicians interact and how, today, the general public have easier access to medical information. Nevertheless, a hospital or doctor’s visit now and then is still inevitable, but, we see a lot of change and modernization in hospitals today both from the physicians’ and the patients’ point of view, especially with the introduction of the iPad.

Modernization of the medical schools
The iPad has proved to be a very useful device in the teaching of medical students, in order to facilitate the learning process. Today, many medical schools such as Stanford and Yale have adopted the iPad as the main tool for learning, and Havard’s School of medicine has even developed customized mobile applications.

iPads in hospitals
The iPad is also entering the world of surgery. We have already seen a couple of examples of the iPad in the surgery room, but today the iPad is mostly used prior to and after the surgery. In the near future however, we will be seeing the iPad as a significant instrument in the operating room. With the device covered by an X-ray proof case and a sterile bag, the surgeon can manipulate the controls himself. It’s the iPad’s ability to display medical imaging, its built in sensors and the fact that it can access the patients’ electronic health records that make it a great asset in the operating room.

The iPad is also a useful device for storing patient information in real time, such as medication use and lab results. Doctors at Montreal’s Sacré-Coeur Hospital have developed an application called SEMi in order to make their processes more effective, which has shown to be very successful. Several hospitals in the Quebec province are now looking to buy the program.

Another example of astounding iPad innovations is an application for speech therapy, which is only available in the United States at this time. The application recognises the patient’s voice and uses speech synthesis to allow him or her to communicate. The iPad is thus an interactive working tool that helps stroke victims, for example, to regain the ability to speak and pronounce words.

Modernization of hospitals: the consequences for the patients

As we mentioned in the mash-up last week, the introduction of the iPad in hospitals also smoothes the process of hospital visits for the patients, at is has proved to be a very expedient means to facilitate the access to their electronic health records (EHR). The first EHR app developed for iPad is DrChrono, which offers patient check-in, a medical speech–to-text, and the possibility for the patient to input personal information such as insurance info, photos, allergies, temperature, blood pressure, etc.

Another innovative app is the Orca MD, which helps the physicians teach patients about anatomy and pathology.

It will take time before these improvements in hospital care are adopted all over the world, and we’ll see many new innovations in the future aimed at improving and modernizing patient reception as well as medical practice.

Do you think the use of the iPad in the hospitals eases the process for the patient as well as the doctor?

Images by: iMedicalApps / DrChrono


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