In 2014, the iPad is seen as a useful educational tool for medical school students and residents, but its integration into clinical workflow has been less pronounced (Berkowitz, 2014). Since its release in 2011, the iPad was criticized as not being able to do what the iPhone can do. Moreover, the iPad was seen as a competitor to the e-readers, tablet PCs and netbooks on the market such as the Sony eReader and Amazon Kindle. Dr. Joshua Schwimmer, blogging at Healthline, compiled useful information around reviews of the iPad. Recent issues raised about using iPads are summarized below. (SeeiMedicalApps.com for current reviews of applications for the iPad.)
One of the most exciting hopes for the iPad is that it will be a robust tablet for the creation, editing and review of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). There are already some ways of accessing EMRs on the iPad, and at least one fully-fledged native iPad EMR app.
Dr. Chrono's EMR app is the first EMR app to run natively on the iPad. Though the app is still in its early stages, it is already easy to see the potential for these types of applications in the healthcare setting.
Macpractice's EMR requires a VNC connection from the iPad to gain access to EMR records that are maintained on other machines. They are in the process of designing a native iPad app.
Other medical record apps are surely yet to come. It remains to be seen, however, if these apps will be able to stand up to patient privacy concerns. Without the ability to run several apps at once, as well, it may be difficult to use consistently in a practice setting.
Like the iPhone, which the iPad shares a similar environment (iPhone SDK, or software development kit, version 3.2 onwards), Apple tools run their own software downloadable from its App Store. Software is written by developers who pay for a developer's license on registered devices. The iPad runs almost all third-party iPhone applications, displaying them at iPhone size or enlarging them to fill the iPad's screen.
Mobile applications for tablets and smartphones have the capacity to make any nurse or nursing student’s life easier. NCLEX study apps for those seeking their license are comprehensive and offer specialized modules for different parts of the test. Flashcard apps, human anatomy references, prescription drug encyclopedias, and medical dictionaries make it easy to look up facts. General productivity apps like Evernote and Dropbox make life easier by streamlining scheduling and other tasks, and offer synced calendars and event reminder functions.
Carter’s Encyclopedia of Health and Medicine developed for the iPad by mogeneration gives the look and feel of a print encyclopedia with ease of an iPad app; features 12,000 entries provided by Medwords that in print would equal 1,800 pages of content. With all of this content, the app weighs in at around 50MB.