Quoted – iPad stoking doctor interest in tablet computers

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If the launch of the iPad has done anything, it has brought legitimacy to the tablet computer, a product that has long been considered the redheaded stepchild of computing.

It could be because of the buzz over Apple‘s latest offering, or because physicians who have grown to love their smartphones also recognize their limitations in a clinical setting. But more physicians than ever — more than 50%, according to a recent survey by Software Advice — say they are now considering buying a tablet. A separate survey by Epocrates, whose medical software has been a popular smartphone download, found that one in five physicians are planning specifically to purchase an iPad.

But experts say doctors shouldn’t jump on the iPad bandwagon without exploring other options.

But even if the device has all the features you want or need, it still might be wise to wait, experts warn.

In the survey by Epocrates, which developed a mobile drug reference tool for smartphones that it plans to expand to the iPad, 9% of physicians said they planned to buy an iPad when it is released in March; another 13% plan to buy it within a year. But 38% said they are interested but will wait for more information before finalizing their decision.

Scott Testa, PhD, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, said he thinks the 38% are doing the right thing. “I think it’s important that they probably not be the earliest adopters.” He advised waiting until Apple has “come out with the second version to make sure most of the bugs are worked out.”

“Usually the first people who adopt these products go through a little bit more pain that those that wait a little bit,” Testa said. “I think that’s true for many technology products.”


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