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January 16, 2011

What is the Perfect Tablet Computer for Healthcare?

Many would argue (as I have) that the Apple iPad is THE perfect tablet computer for healthcare professionals. And for many of the mundane tasks of looking up or inputting information into an electronic medical records, that may be true. (Watch a video using the iPad to access MediTech as well as PACS here.)

However, there is a vast area of healthcare that the iPad just does not work at all.

That area is connecting to surgical equipment. Especially in the ENT world, there is a lot of microscopic and endoscopic work that is done. The software that records imagery from such devices are ALL based on the windows platform. Yes... we can record on to a CD, DVD, USB Memory Drive, etc and transfer the file to the iPad for viewing, but there's a lot of steps involved with that:

1) Record the video/image
2) Transfer to media of choice (CD, DVD, USB memory stick, etc)
3) Transfer file to PC/Mac
4) Move it iTunes/iPhoto
5) Synch with iPad

Geez louise!!!

I am currently aching for a highly portable tablet computer to connect to my JedMed Digicam in order to video-record fiberoptic endoscopy, ear work under the microscope, etc. The software the Digicam works with is only Windows compatible (and from my conversations with JedMed, there's no plans to make it work on any other platform in the foreseeable future).

As such, at this time, the Windows (and not iPad) world is the current way to go to address this deficiency. Not Google Android, iPad, Blackberry, etc.

In my mind, the best tablet for video work in the healthcare setting must have the following properties:

1) Windows 7 operating system for compatibility with surgical hardware
2) USB port
3) 10" Tablet for portability
4) Cheap (comparable to iPad)
5) Fast boot (SSD drive)

And WOW... I was amazed at the plethora of tablets introduced at the 2011 CES Convention Jan 6-9, 2011 in Las Vegas.

There were over 80 tablets that were introduced from big name companies to nobodies. Surely, there will a be a few which fits the bill?

Sadly, there were only a few that may fit my needs.

These include:

1) Samsung Note PC Series 7
2) Motion CL900 Windows Tablet

The Dell Inspiron Duo may possibly work, but the swinging screen just looks way too fragile.

What do others think? I'm pinning my hope on the Samsung model as the Motion tablet price is a bit much. The Samsung tablet is suppose to go on sale in March 2011 with a price tag around $699.

Watch a video the demonstrates the Samsung Note PC:
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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