Survey: Point-of-care apps accelerating iPad deployment

A survey of nearly 950 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) members indicates that iPad deployments are accelerating, in large part due to the mobile device's compelling point-of-care applications and uses.

The survey took place on October 26 during an online webinar co-sponsored by BoxTone, a global Mobile Service Management (MSM) Software and Services provider headquartered in Columbia, Md., and Chicago-based HIMSS. Nearly 70 percent of the attendees were from hospitals or healthcare organizations with more than 1500 employees, and 15 percent of attendees were executive-level employees or physicians.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • More than 25 percent of the HIMSS respondents plan to deploy the iPad and other iOS devices immediately and nearly 70 percent plan to deploy the devices within the next year.
  • One-third identified point-of-care applications – including lab order visualization and results, clinical decision support and medical image viewing applications – as top priorities, while 18 percent identified general administration including billing, coding and claims applications as top priorities.
  • When provided with a choice of options for potential iPad IT management challenges, nearly 75 percent identified secure configuration and deployment as the number one challenge and 53 percent identified mobile application and deployment as a key challenge.

"Since its launch earlier this year, the iPad is redefining how organizations leverage mobile technology in the enterprise and the healthcare community is leading this paradigm shift," said Alan Snyder, CEO, BoxTone. "As these devices are used more frequently at the point of care, IT must ensure both data security and privacy, as well as superior remote connectivity."

Steve Bedell, network engineer, for Network Knowledge Inc., a Yarmouth, Maine-based company that helps integrate new and existing technology, finds the numbers in the survey to be a little high. He believes they could be indicative of what adoption may look like in early 2011 when Apple is expected to release the iPad2.

As for concerns about doctors picking apps that "provide the security needed to assure HIPAA compliance where pertinent," says Bedell, "there are apps out there that say they meet security guidelines that will meet or exceed HIPAA."

"There are a lot of point-of-care apps, as well as many developers that are trying to find their niche in development.  I think that this specific healthcare application is prime for an iPad or other comparable device, and there are many out there," says Bedell.

"Definitely this tablet revolution, is redefining a lot of the mobile market for a lot of companies," he added, noting that the tablet also addresses a problem he has heard his own personal physician complain about – that laptops are just too big.