“You’ll want an iPad just so you can wear this”
Signs banning mobile phone use are familiar to anyone who has ever sat in a hospital waiting room. In the US, however, the growing popularity of electronic medical records has forced hospital-based doctors to become dependent on computers throughout the day, and desktops — which keep doctors from bedsides — are fast giving way to wireless devices.
A study of the University of Chicago iPad project published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that patients got tests and treatments faster if they were cared for by iPad-equipped doctors. Many patients also gained a better understanding of the ailments that landed them in the hospital in the first place.
In Autumn 2010, a pilot project in Chicago launched to see if the iPad could improve working conditions and patient care. The experiment was so successful that all internal-medicine residents at the university now get iPads when they begin the programme. Johns Hopkins’ internal-medicine programme adopted the same policy in 2011. Medical schools at Yale and Stanford now have paperless, iPad-based curriculums. New lab coats are designed with large pockets to accommodate tablet computers.
How does the NHS fare by comparison? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jo is a Partner specialising in catastrophic personal injury and clinical negligence claims.