iPad and Medicine


The future of health care

iPad Medic

After Apple announced the iPad device, I immediately began to think of   all the medical applications that could be used for this device.

Currently the app store has about 140,000 apps and is growing at an amazing rate. The medical app store has about 1,920. Health apps number about 3,100. According to Apple, most of these apps should work on the  iPhone and will transfer to the iPad as long as you use the same login. It will be interesting to see what the apps that were created initially for the  iPhone will look like on the new iPad device. It is interesting also to note that the device does not have a camera, however the iPod Nano does. My guess is the device would take up more  bandwidth if it had a camera.

I am curious to see if the iPad will  work with apps like Skype and Google Voice.  If they do, then with a $20, 3g plan, you could use the device as a  2nd phone. For example Google Voice allows you to set up a local  phone number that others can use to call you. If you do not answer then you will get a transcribed text with the first couple of lines of  the missed callers message!

What medical applications can we expect from this device?

Blausen Medical App

Patient education company Blausen makes an amazing product that has short video animations on multiple medical diseases. They are very basic and range from half a  minute to two minutes. Electronic medical records would be interesting. You have to wonder how they would work in the ER. I cannot imagine keeping up with an expensive device in the ER. At least one I can’t put in my pocket. I can see myself losing it during a code or dropping it as I run to the floor for a “code blue.”

I am interested in hearing from our readers and seeing how other ER  doctors use technology at work. Currently, I use Pepid, although it is expensive, it has almost everything I need in the app.

Feel free to post if you are likely to purchase the next iPhone (new cell phone carrier to be announced in June), iPad wifi only will  be out around March 27 and the iPad with wifi/3g service around late  April in the United States. The rest of the world will get it after  June which will be just in time for the new iPhone.

I look forward to your emails and post,

Harvey Castro MD

Picture from iPhone life magazine.

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  1. #1 by Jaimie Ruiz - January 28th, 2010 at 15:45

    Great blog!

  2. #2 by sam w - January 31st, 2010 at 22:55

    catchy domain name! so as an IM resident that’s had some experience in telemedicine, i could see so many applications for this thin form factor, but several things make me hesitate:
    – only apple approved app store software? what if we want to develop something inhouse?
    – no camera? are they trying to avoid overlapping functions, or separating their gadgets into ones that “consume” media vs ones that can generate content?
    – no front facing camera!! video conferencing / telemedicine conferencing out the door!
    – and yes, i’ve already left many notes/books/patient charts behind on rounds, i cant believe this thing wouldnt be left at a nurses station at least twice a week.

    other than that i love the thing!

  3. #3 by Harvey Castro, MD - February 2nd, 2010 at 00:05

    Feel free to email me any items you think would be helpful for IM residents.

  4. #4 by Tom Jay - May 18th, 2010 at 11:15

    Not all applications are from the app store, most of my applications are so specific they are loaded on the device directly, these are called “Enterprise Applications”, there are two levels of Apple Developers, Standard and Enterprise. Enterprise developers can send apps to be loaded via iTunes onto the device from a local computer, no app store approval required :)

    As far as loosing the iPad device itself, you can wipe the data from a remote site with a Push Notifications, that’s how most Enterprise Email apps work on the iPhone.

    There is a camera adapter as well as bluetooth, so adding camera support is an option. Its not everything you would expect yet but it is a start.

  5. #5 by sule welply - November 2nd, 2011 at 13:52

    Hi there Dr Castro, Just wondering if you are still in Texas. Also you are worthy of my time and maybe you should open your own free standing ER. You are one of the most prepared ER physician that I know so my hat to you. If you consider your own ER let me know I have ER physicians groups openning already you can partner or assemble ur own group. I will get the financing done for you. my cell# 361-205-3070

  6. #6 by Derick - February 2nd, 2012 at 16:17

    Geat article…and to answer your question: YES, I am likely to purchase the next iPhone “5”…(didnt buy the 4S though).

    Keep it up, Derick

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