Survey: Docs want tablet PCs

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Tablet PCA new study has concluded that tablet PCs are a very hot item with physicians — and that healthcare facilities are have devoted big chunks of their budget to ramping up IT spending.

While doctors are generally happy with the technology they in their practices — which includes laptops and smartphones as well as standard gear like desktop PCs ad printers — they’re hoping to step up to devices which perform better, according to the Second Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study from CompTIA.

Over the next 12 months,  one in three healthcare practices expects to increase IT spending by more than 5 percent over the next year, CompTIA reports. Many practices expect to upgrade and replace technology already in place, trading it in for next-gen devices like the Apple iPad.

Meanwhile, EMRs are getting less of a warm reception. According to the research, about 50 percent of practices are adopting EMR technology, with 34 percent of healthcare providers report using a comprehensive EMR system, and 16 percent using a partial system.  A full 20 percent haven’t started the process of EMR evaluation, the study notes.

We think CompTIA has hit upon something very important. While EMRs are a challenging issue for practices, handheld technology that improves physician efficiency is hot, hot, hot.

Your editor has seen countless iPad raves by tech-savvy doctor-bloggers  and trade groups already, and we think the noise is going to get louder in 2011.

The notion of an iPad revolution in medicine may sound like it’s coming out of left field, but actually, it makes a lot of sense. While it’s not well known in all quarters, doctors have been avid smart-phone users for years. If they perceive the iPad to be a wise merger between laptop power and smart-phone flexibility, small wonder they’re excited.

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