There was a time that BlackBerry devices were the most popular for physicians in the United States. The last time BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) could convincingly claim to be the favorite device of doctors was probably May 2010. Back then Manhattan Research's Taking the Pulse survey found that iPhone and BlackBerry adoption among MDs was neck and neck. By May 2011 the research firm found that some 75 percent of US physicians owned some kind of Apple device -- iPod, iPhone, or iPad. While the first app demonstrated publicly for the BlackBerry PlayBook was a cloud-based medical imaging app, that device has only reportedly made meager adoption gains, too.
A QuantiaMD study published last year found that some 59 percent of US physician respondents were iPhone users, 20 percent used some kind of Android device, and some 14 percent said they used BlackBerry devices.
Despite the obvious decline, recent BlackBerry Bold commercials make clear that RIM hopes to bring its physician adoption numbers back up.
"Nowadays it's about collaborative work -- reaching out beyond your own specialty. I couldn't collaborate with so many scientists without my BlackBerry," Dr. Yvonne Chan, a pharmacogenomic research scientist, says in the commercial. "It's a way of bringing people together. Now in school my son just picked up trombone. He had his winter concert yesterday. I got instant pictures on my BlackBerry -- so I didn't have to miss it. I'm a mom. I'm a doctor. I'm a research scientist. I can't do all that without my BlackBerry. I think that's why I am able to do this, because I am organized -- to have a tool that helps me accomplish what I need to do."
Dr. Chan concludes: "I need my BlackBerry: It's my other brain."