For iPad to succeed in medicine, significant software innovation needed

By Brian Dolan
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iPad medical appsA recent survey of more than 100 physicians conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group concluded that 80 percent of physicians believe the iPad has a "promising future in healthcare," but they remain skeptical that the device is ready to transform patient care delivery. Gregg Malkary, Managing Director of Spyglass Consulting Group, noted that the iPad is just one component of the overall end-to-end clinical solution and that "significant software innovation" is needed to help the iPad and other tablets to realize their potential in healthcare.

Of the more than 100 physicians interviewed, 98 percent said that they had adopted mobile computing devices to support their personal and professional workflows. The physicians cited a number of reasons for mobile device adoption: ease of use, low costs, lightweight, widespread cellular connectivity, cloud-based Internet-connected apps, and location-based services.

Of the more than 100 physicians surveyed, 75 percent said that their hospital IT staff was hesitant or unwilling to support personal mobile devices on the corporate network because of security, reliability, and cost and maintenance concerns.

Interestingly, about 83 percent of the physicians said their desktop computers were still the primary devices that they used for accessing patient data when at home, in their office, or at the hospital. Physicians said they used mobiles to access clinical information when they were outside of these normal working environments.

In mid-2010, Spyglass published results from a similar survey that found of the (more than) 100 physicians surveyed, 94 percent said they were using smartphones to communicate, manage personal and business workflows, and access medical information. Spyglass conducted a similar study back in 2006 — back then only 59 percent of the physicians surveyed were using smartphones.

More details about the study in the press release below:

MENLO PARK, CA, January 31, 2012. Today, Spyglass Consulting Group released its most recent healthcare study, Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012. It shows significant trends on how US-based physicians are using mobile solutions at point of care to streamline productivity, enhance patient safety, and reduce the risk of medical errors.

Report reveals that 80 percent of physicians believe Apple iPad has a promising future in healthcare but they are skeptical that Apple iPad is ready to transform patient care delivery today. “Apple iPad represents only one component of an overall end-to-end clinical solution,” said Gregg Malkary, Managing Director of Spyglass Consulting Group. “Significant software innovation will be required to realize the vision for anytime, anywhere clinical computing. Clinical applications must be rewritten and optimized to take advantage of the native capabilities of the Apple iPad and other mobile devices including gesture-based computing, natural language speech recognition, unified communications, and video conferencing.”

Highlights of the Point of Care Computing for Physicians report:

Physicians are embracing mobile computing devices

Ninety-eight percent of physicians interviewed have embraced mobile computing devices to support their personal and professional workflows. Mobile device adoption is being driven by technology innovation including easy-to-use, low-cost, lightweight mobile devices, widespread cellular broadband availability (3G/4G), cloud-based ecosystem to support Internet-connected applications, and the emergence of location-based services.

Hospital IT is resistant to supporting mobile devices on corporate network

Seventy-five percent of physicians interviewed reported that hospital IT was resistant to supporting personal mobile devices on the corporate network. Hospital IT believes personal devices are insecure, less reliable, and more expensive to deploy, support and maintain than desktop computers.

Physicians are primarily using desktop computers to access patient data

Eighty-three percent of physicians interviewed were using desktop computers as their primary device for accessing corporate assets and patient data whether they were at the hospital, in their office, or at home. Physicians were found to be using mobile devices to access clinical information WHEN they were outside of their normal working environment.

About Spyglass’ Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012 Report

Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012 presents the findings of an end-user market study focused on the current state of computing adoption by physicians across the United States. The report uncovers strong opinions regarding the market opportunities and challenges for adopting computing solutions at the point of care to streamline physician productivity, enhance patient safety, and reduce the risk of medical errors.

Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012 is an outgrowth of a similar study published by Spyglass in October 2007 entitled Point of Care Computing for Physicians. Throughout this report, Spyglass will compare and contrast interesting trends identified across both studies.

Content for Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012 was derived from more than 100 in-depth interviews with physicians working in acute care and ambulatory environments nationwide. Clinicians interviewed were technically competent and representative of a broad range of medical specialties and institution sizes.

Spyglass conducted the telephone interviews over a four-month period beginning July 2011. The purpose of the interviews was to identify the needs and requirements for point of care computing through discussions about:

· existing workflow inefficiencies in accessing clinical information,

· current usage models for computing devices and solutions, and

· barriers for widespread adoption.

Spyglass also evaluated key vendor product offerings and identified early adopter organizations that have successfully deployed point of care solutions.

The Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012 report is targeted at:

· software and hardware vendors, systems integrators and management consulting groups who are selling hardware, applications and services into the healthcare industry,

· healthcare administrators and IT executives who are making strategic decisions to fund clinical information technology solutions,

· clinicians who are involved in informatics and clinical system evaluation and selection, and

· investment banking and private equity investors.

The complete market study, “Healthcare Without Bounds: Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012,” is available for $2,495 (USD) from Spyglass Consulting Group at www.spyglass-consulting.com.

About Spyglass Consulting Group

Spyglass Consulting Group is a market intelligence firm and consultancy focused on the nexus of information technology and healthcare. Spyglass offers products and services in customer and market intelligence, strategic partnership development, product marketing and investment due diligence. Spyglass’ current research is entitled Healthcare without Bounds that focuses on the current and future potential of mobile computing and wireless technologies within the healthcare industry.

Spyglass customers include more than 140 leading high technology vendors, management consulting organizations and healthcare providers including Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Siemens, GE Healthcare, Philips Medical, Sprint, and Kaiser Permanente.

Gregg Malkary is the founder and Managing Director of Spyglass Consulting Group. He has more than 20 years experience in the high technology industry working with Fortune 2000 companies to help them use information technology for competitive advantage. Malkary has domain expertise in mobile computing, wireless and broadband technologies with direct experience in the healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, communications and entertainment markets.

Prior to founding Spyglass Consulting Group in August 2002, Malkary was an Associate Partner at Outlook Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early stage investments in enterprise software and communications companies. Previously, Malkary was the Director of Strategic Planning for Exodus Communications where he was responsible for identifying, evaluating and executing growth initiatives for Exodus in the managed Web-hosting marketplace. Malkary has also held consulting and senior management roles in business development, strategic planning and product marketing for public and private technology companies including IBM, Hewlett Packard, Accenture, Silicon Graphics and Skytel Communications.

Malkary frequently speaks at regional and national conferences focused on mobile computing, wireless technologies and healthcare related issues. Numerous industry publications have written about and quoted Malkary including the Wall Street Journal, CIO, Business 2.0, MIT Technology Review, Network World and eWeek.

Malkary is an honors graduate of Brown University having earned a MS and BA in Computer Science. He was awarded the prestigious North American Philips Corporation Fellowship for his graduate research work in graphical simulation environments.

For additional information about this study, please contact Gregg Malkary at gmalkary@spyglass-consulting.com. © 2010, Spyglass Consulting Group. All rights reserved.