Docs make iPad 3 requests

By Molly Merrill
12:26 PM

There are plenty of rumors circulating about when Apple will release the iPad 3, but most reports indicate we won’t see it until 2012. Physicians, –along with the rest of us, are eagerly awaiting its release – and doctors interviewed by Healthcare It News have some strong opinions on the specifications they’d like to see in the device.

Joseph Kim, MD, a physician executive, digital entrepreneur and technologist who has a passion for medical education, health information technology and digital media, says he’s looking for:
• A higher resolution screen (High definition or HD) for viewing more intricate medical images
• A higher resolution camera with LED flash, so clinicians can take better photos in the clinical environment
• Expansion slots (microSD or USB) so clinicians can share files stored on Flash memory media
Kim noted that he hopes Apple develops a smaller iPad that has a 7-inch screen. “Medical students and physicians working in the hospital would love a device that easily fits into the white coat pocket,” he said. “The existing iPad is simply too large.”

Larry A Nathanson, MD, a board certified emergency physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the director of emergency medical informatics for the hospital’s department of emergency medicine, says the iPad is changing how he and his colleagues practice.
“In our ED, iPad use allows us to view clinical results at the bedside and involve patients more directly in their care,” he said. “We did a study and found a significant decrease in the amount of time iPad users spent at a desktop computer.” Nathanson hopes for:
• A built-in fingerprint reader or other biometric capability
• High-resolution indoor location tracking
“The integration of location services has been one of the biggest areas of innovation for IOS apps,” he said. “However, the resolution isn't good enough to tell what ward I'm on, or which patient's room I'm in.” Nathanson would also like to see:
• Intrinsic RFID/barcode scanner for medication safety applications.
Nathanson also has what he refers to as his “pie in the sky” requests:
• Bigger screen size, but it folds in half so the carrying footprint is smaller
• Built-in tricorder

Henry J. Feldman, MD, a hospitalist and chief information architect in the Division of Clinical Informatics at BIDMC, and assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School wants to see:
• Higher resolution screen for PACS imaging
• A pair of cameras that are reasonable quality and resolution
• A light for video/stills like on the iPhone.

“When viewing CT/MR, scrolling is still cumbersome and makes looking at images difficult at best,” added Douglas W. Hanto, MD, chief, Division of Transplantation, clinical director, Transplant Institute at BIDMC and Lewis Thomas professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “It would also be nice to have the ability to project from the iPad (I hear a rumor that may be coming with the iPhone 5), so you could project keynote slides or other images from the iPad so more than one person could view.”