BlackBerry PlayBook: A better tablet for healthcare?

By Brian Dolan
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BlackBerry PlayBookIt's not called the BlackPad (as the rumor mill has affectionately called it for the past few months), but BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion has indeed unveiled a new tablet, called PlayBook. During the BlackBerry event where the PlayBook launched last week, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis billed the company's new device as the first "professional" tablet. The tablet won't hit the market until early 2011.

Health organizations that have already equipped staff with BlackBerry devices may find it easy to add PlayBooks since the new device is already compatible with the BlackBerry enterprise server. It's an amplified view of what's already on your users' BlackBerry devices and requires no new software, security or data plan, Lazaridis said. The first iteration of the PlayBook will be WiFi only, but the company plans 3G-enabled and 4G-enabled versions in the future, of course.

So, does RIM believe PlayBook will appeal to medical professionals? Yep.

On-stage at the BlackBerry launch event for PlayBook, CEO and President Mark Willnerd of TouMetis showed off a medical app that displays patient data for orthopedic surgeons where they can design, for example, new knee replacements for patients right from a BlackBerry or from the PlayBook.

In a press release, RIM even pointed to remote EMR access as a potential use case for PlayBooks in the medical field: "For example, a medical records application can attach image files to a patient’s medical record, with the option to open or preview the record, or view the list of available images before it is downloaded to the BlackBerry smartphone."

Watch the PlayBook introductory video below for more on BlackBerry's new device: