Healthcare sector among top adopters of iPad

The healthcare sector is among the top three industries seeing the heaviest adoption of the <a href="/directory/ipad" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link"><a href="/directory/ipad" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">iPad for business use, according to data from Good Technology, a Redwood City-based provider of multiplatform enterprise mobility.

The data comes from an analysis of Good Technology's user base, which includes more than 4,000 enterprise customers, whose iPad deployments range from one to more than 1,000 iPads. 

"We took a close look at our customers who have deployed iPad devices so far," said John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good Technology. "We found that the financial services sector dominated, accounting for 36 percent of Good's iPad activations to date. The technology sector came in second at 11 percent, followed closely by healthcare at 10 percent. We believe these industries are embracing the iPad because its unique design makes it easier to perform time-sensitive, mission-critical tasks."

One reason the iPad is being adopted in the industry is because hospitals' current mobile devices have become a "barrier" due to their size, weight and battery life, said Nick Volosin, ISS director of technical services at Kaweah Delta Health Care District in California. The hospital is considering using the iPad in areas like pharmacy, emergency, dietary, home health, hospice, clinical engineering/bioMed and for private practice physicians and nursing supervisors.

According to feedback from the hospital's emergency department the iPad is also a potential cost saver. The emergency department estimates that it could trade a COW (computer on wheels), which costs $7,500, for three iPads, costing $1,500.

Kaweah Delta Health Care District is also looking into having the iPad work with a barcode scanner for a portable device for MAK (Medication Administration Check), which helps prevent medication errors, said Volosin.

Electronic medical records applications that are specifically designed for the iPad could be another reason why adoption in the healthcare industry may see more growth. Experts predict that the iPad could even be a "game changer" for EHR adoption.

According to one study, sales of tablets to the healthcare industry could reach $63 million by 2013.