What Does Physician Adoption of the iPad Mean?

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Recently, a study came out from Manhattan Research, stating the 62% of US physicians are currently using tablets, mostly iPads (http://bit.ly/KxkowT), almost double the amount form last year.

So what does this really mean?  How it the adoption of this technology going to change physician behaviors?

As part of this study, it was noted that more than two-thirds of physicians use video to learn and keep up-to-date with clinical information.  Clearly, on-demand access to reference information is becoming more of a priority in the practice setting.  What we’re starting to see is another shift, similar to when information access via the web first came into play, but this time it will be to Apps.

With the increase of Apps, in particular Apps that store valuable content locally on the iPad which can be used in an offline setting, Physicians can now access information even faster, with only a few touches of the screen.

Interestingly enough, it was found in this study that physicians are more selective with downloading Apps than general consumers, however they use their Apps on a more frequent basis.  What can be concluded by this is that physicians want and need better Apps, but the value offering of these Apps has to be high.

Additionally physicians are slowly starting to use the iPad to iDetail information to the patients, and this will continue to grow into more of a need.  From a patient perspective, physicians who can show them something versus tell them something are generally perceived to be providing a higher standard of care, as they are better educating patients to their conditions and treatment options.  Of course, when this is done right, the it results in driving new patient growth through increased word of mouth patient recommendations.

It’s clear that the iPad is a technology that is here to stay with physicians, but that we’ve only seen the start of the exciting world this can become.