Business, Hardware

While Docs Dictate Notes, iPad Dictates Fashion

Lab Coat with an iPad pocket by LabwearThe iPad has influenced the world in general, but recently the fashion world took note. Doctors moving from patient to patient need to dictate notes immediately before moving on. An iPad in their lab coat is just the answer.

Doctors are increasingly using tablets as teaching devices, showing patients videos about their ailments and recommended treatment plans. Electronic records are at their finger tips bringing health care workers current on a patient?s status as they enter the patient?s room. As they leave, they can record notes about their visit. is responding to the trend among professionals who want to keep a tablet at their side. Now, they can carry their iPad or other tablet in a specially designed pocket of the profession-identifying white lab coat.

Many hospitals will also be contributing to the change in garb as they encourage doctors to gravitate to tablet-oriented practices. Graduate doctors in Victoria, Australia were to begin using iPads in hospital treatment in January this year thanks to a $500,000 pilot program launched by the state government. However, some professions are slow to adopt technology.

Health minister Daniel Andrews says this group is perfect for the trial because they?ve grown up with technology all around them.

iPad is being widely used by Kaiser Sacramento. Picture Credit: Kaweah Delta HospitalKaiser Sacramento is a hospital located in my city of residence, with the facility being mostly known for their response during the iPad iTouch Pilot program which resulted in 20% increase in time that nurses spent with the patients instead of writing down charts. Using the specialized app for iPad increased the level of service across the hospital and the results of the pilot program are now being used for planning the adoption of iPad across other Kaiser facilities.

In the US, according to Manhattan Research, a healthcare market research firm, 75 percent of US physicians own some form of Apple device, including an iPhone, iPad or iPod. In May, Manhattan Research said that the overwhelming percent of physicians prefer Apple?s phone to popular Android phones. Those doctors see the internet as critical to their jobs. Such devices make the internet constantly accessible. As clipboards and pages of patient?s charts are giving way to computer apps on a tablet, doctors are seeing the benefits. They have more time to spend with the patient instead of with paperwork. At least 30 percent of US physicians have already adopted the iPad. No mention was made of other brands on the Apple-specific blog.

Hospitals are digging into their own pockets so that doctors can pull out iPads from theirs. Clinical Viewer is a new app from Canada, developed by Select Start Studios gives health care professionals access to their patients’ previous visits, allergies, medications, test results, and lab reports. Dale Potter, who was instrumental in getting Ottawa Hospital on an iPad roll – they just ordered 1,800 of them ? says that the iPads offset their initial costs by replacing old equipment and cutting down on errors caused by often illegible hand-written orders. To accommodate those new iPads, docs will also be sporting new iPad Pocket lab coats.

Potter also emphasized that the hospital has taken security measures to ensure that if an iPad should get stolen from the hospital, patient information would remain private because it is not stored on the iPad.

For a quirky look at iPad fashions in other environments, click here.