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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jul 9 2012   9:45PM GMT

Are too many choices for tablets good or bad for healthcare?



Posted by: RedaChouffani
Microsoft, surface, tablets, Windows 8, windows mobile

During the June month, Microsoft announced the introduction of their own tablet named surface.  Microsoft described the availability of two tablet models toward the end of 2012 one Intel based and the other ARM processor based.   Having a vendors such as Microsoft enter the tablet arena complicates things a bit for healthcare organizations when it comes to choosing a platform and supporting them.  Currently many had only two options to choose from between Apple’s iPad and Android supporting hardware.  However adding a third one and talks about a forth one from some of the ex employees of Nokia may further complicate and add to the vendor pool.

Competition in this arena will continue to drive improvements in features, functionality as well as drive price down.  This is welcomed by many, however it will mean that IT departments as they are rolling out initiatives BYOD will now need to plan on understanding how they can ensure security, and management of the newer platforms including windows 8 based tablets.

For vendors who are rolling out their mhealth Apps to iPad and Android tablets, they will now have to decide new windows mobile development will be needed. For some who elected to follow the web based App route will not face significant challenges and will find it easy to adjust and adopt to the new platforms to its support for HTML5. However sometimes certain features and functions require native Apps. This would force software vendors to develop new code base for the new platform(s).

No matter what angle you look it, having more tablets and platforms to choose from brings both good and bad things.  As many IT executives will realize, that evaluating the platform that overall suites the group the best would need to be the platform of choice.  The areas that would be part of the evaluation criteria are:

  • Data Security
  • Application support and availability
  • Deployment and Implementation costs
  • Usability
  • Battery life
  • Quality and overall reliability
  • Manageability and ease of use
  • Vendor history

All these would be areas that should be part of the evaluation and selection of the mobile platform for clinicians and any other healthcare professional looking to implement mobility.

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