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Medical iPad adoption spurred in part by US government

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011

Medicare, Medicaid payments cover tablet tech

Reimbursements from the US government may be playing a significant role in fostering iPad adoption by doctors, CNBC suggests. The government is operating a program called Meaningful Use, which allows doctors and hospitals to claim Medicare and Medicaid expenses when buying specific technology. The aim of the initiative is to increase migration to electronic records, theoretically reducing healthcare costs while improving the quality of service.

CNBC reports that as a consequence, developers of medical software are currently rushing to develop apps for the iPad. The device is not the only tablet getting attention; apps should also be coming to Android tablets and the RIM PlayBook. At the same time, however, the iPad is expected to the focus of tablet medical app development in the near future.

Beyond records, another major use of the iPad is said to be explaining illnesses to patients. Because of its portability and media emphasis, the tablet can be easily brought into a patient's room and used to graphically illustrate a condition. Older medical computers have been described as cumbersome.

by MacNN Staff



  1. aspooner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow, this is a stretch.

    While the Meaningful Use program may be raising interest in electronic medical records, almost none of these products are particularly usable on a tablet device--way too much typing involved. I suppose anything that stimulates interest in IT in general will result in some specific interest in tablet computers, but to connect MU to iPads is a real stretch. Slow news day, I guess!

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not that slow of a day

    My doctor started using a laptop several years ago. He would come in, connect the laptop to power, then start asking me questions and typing. He rarely looked at me. He never showed me anything on his computer and I have no idea what he was actually using it for other than to take notes.

    Did this save him any time? Maybe. Did it save his medical transcriptionist time? Probably. Did it serve me at all? Absolutely not. My new doctor doesn't bring a computer into the room and actually talks to me about how I'm doing and answers any questions I have; just like the good old days. When he needs to show me something, he looks through his brochures and finds what he needs.

    An iPad can change all of this and provide a whole lot more information for doctors and patients. A static drawing of a knee doesn't help me visualize why mine hurts when I move it. Having a video or animation can absolutely help patients understand what's going on with their bodies and how PT or surgery could help.

    Sure, it could help reduce transcription time and record input but they will pay for themselves with patient education. Show most people a good photo and animation and they will understand a whole lot quicker than describing it in a language only the doctor understands. Don't sell this technology short.

    disclaimer: I'm not a doctor but my daughter is in grad school studying to be a DPT (doctor of physical therapy). MacPractice doesn't have an application for PTs yet but they do have them for MDs, DDs, eye doctors and chiropractors.

    check these out:

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey, as long as more people are using

    iPads, I'm happy. Greater sales will help boost revenue and Apple badly needs revenue to keep the stock moving upward. Apparently, current revenue is flat and so is Apple's share price.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011


    Causes cancer

    Why would they use these carcinogenic devices? The only tablets I want my doctor using are the kind I can swallow.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree with previous comment...

    I have seen many 3-D models in doctors and dentists rooms which are used to assist in describing anatomy and proposed procedures to patients. The iPad will assist and even replace some of those models, particularly in instances where the consultation is outside the doctors office (say in a hosptial ward or home visit) where it is not possible to carry the models around. In some instances they will be better than models because they can actually show what a procedure will be doing step by step. You cannot under-estimate the importance of patients wanting to know what is affecting their own bodies.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    good choice of debt spending - not

    well we all know Doctor's work in absolute poverty, so they will need the governments help to purchase a $499 iPad.

    Guys, if we can't think of one last thing to cut, anywhere - not one program, not one dime from the military - nothing - then its just no wonder we are $14 trillion in debt.

  1. davelentz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    tax time!

    This obviously means I can deduct my new iPad on next year's taxes. I can access by Google Health data through it, and use it to log and chart various kinds of health care data.

    Or is there a form somewhere that I can just have Medicare directly reimburse me for it?

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