A Closer Look at the iPad

Is it just me, or is everyone else out there dying to get their hands on an iPad?

Enjoyable new apps aside, there is already online discussion as to how the iPad can be useful to physicians, such as the February 2 posting on the KevinMD blog by Dr. Joseph Kim. Not sure how I would feel about letting pediatric patients play games on an iPad while they are in the examination room, but Dr. Kim has some other good suggestions, including using the iPad as an additional tool for patient education and physician note-taking. Think: electronic clipboard that plays soothing music and allows Internet access.

Apple itself may have scouted out possible uses for the iPad in a clinical setting, as rumors have circulated regarding visits by Apple representatives to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. And while the price tag is definitely right at

$499, I wonder what the real impact to physician’s office beyond note-taking capability on a (very cool) touch screen. Unless Apple is zeroing in on the medical market in a really big way - which I find unlikely — new software would have to be developed to make the iPad really useful, as in, say, interact with a EMR system. The price tag on that kind of project makes the $499 initial investment look like not such a great deal.

Still, that’s not going to stop an awful lot of physicians from ordering one.

Is it just me, or is everyone else out there dying to get their hands on an iPad? You would know that less than a month after I got my hands on a Nook, iBooks would be announced for Apple’s new must-have gadget… guess I should have expected that. At least I can be happy with the Nook until March, as it appears the iPad won’t be in anyone’s hands before then.