Medtech reps to help drive MD tablet adoption?

By Brian Dolan
09:21 am

iPad Imaging AppsAbout 20 percent of US physicians have tablet devices now, according to Chilmark Research. Most of these are Apple iPads. Some 50 percent of US physicians are expected to have a tablet in the next two years, according to the research firm. One way that physicians are coming face-to-face with iPads increasingly is during meetings with representatives from medical device makers like Abbott, St. Jude, Medtronic, Boston Scientific and others.

Medtronic, which makes implantable heart devices and other products, recently purchased 4,500 iPads for its sales and marketing team, but that figure could climb to 6,000 iPads soon, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. According to the report, heart-device maker Boston Scientific recently bought 2,000 for its sales team. Orthopedics company Zimmer Holdings plans to distribute 1,000 iPads to its team. Meanwhile, its competitor, Stryker has already distributed iPads and created "a number of applications" for a pilot. Heart-device company St. Jude Medical is piloting iPads and other tablets with its sales force. Abbott Labs, a pharmaceutical and medical device company has decided to deploy about 1,000 3G iPads following a successful pilot with its pharma sales teams.

As new tablets roll out and gain recognition in healthcare, it will be interesting to see how these early iPad adopters fare. Will the Fortune 500 companies stick with iPad? Is it too late for Android-powered devices like Samsung's Galaxy Tab? After all, some big name enterprise vendors including Polycom are placing their bets on this platform over the iPad. Next year could provide a shake out for the enterprise tablet market. We'll be watching closely.

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More from the WSJ report here


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