Exploring the New iPad – The primary update is the addition of a new high resolution ‘retina display’. This 9.7″ screen has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 which is sure to appeal to to the wider medical community. Radiologists will now be able to view images in unrivaled resolution on a mobile device. Physicians will also find the increased resolution useful when reviewing images on hospital systems. Given the importance of medical imaging in the diagnostic process, today’s announcement will help propel iPad adoption.
In order to power this increased resolution, the new iPad has an A5X processor which is quad-core meaning apps will run quicker. Initial reports suggest that this iPad will ship with 1GB of RAM which means the overall ease of use, multitasking and switching between apps will be improved. Furthermore, the faster processor could help with screen sharing and remote control apps (e.g. Citrix) and remote virtual apps (e.g.OnLive) which could open up more tablet EHR options. The improved graphics processing capability will help improve 3-dimensional modelling such as that seen in the Visible Body or the NOVA anatomy apps.
The next major feature which will impact physicians is the introduction of voice dictation. Whilst Siri is noticeably absent from the new iPad, there is now a button which allows the user to dictate. This obviously has numerous medical applications from recording patient notes and entering data into EMRs to dictating letters. It will be interesting to see if the voice dictation feature can cope with medical terminology although regardless, data entry speed is sure to be enhanced. This introduction of voice recognition also paves the way for Siri integration in a future update.
There is an enhanced five MegaPixel camera in the new iPad which is similar to the one found in the iPhone 4S. The enhanced resolution of this camera combined with the improved graphics processing in the A5X chip means that the iPad has the potential for improved integration and usage in telehealth care. The new iPad has the ability to record video in 1080p HD resolution which would offer increased resolution in a telehealth care setting.
Another major feature announcement is that the new iPad will have high speed 4G LTE internet available on both major carriers, Verizon and AT&T, although you will have to purchase a specific iPad depending on your carrier. High speed internet combined with the increased graphics capability and camera resolution is sure to have numerous applications in telemedicine and mHealth in general.
The iPad model allows healthcare providers to connect to Bluetooth-enabled medical home monitoring devices that collect patient data. Specifically, Bluetooth-enabled medical devices such as stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters can measure a patient’s diagnostics and securely transfer the data to the iPad.
Data from these medical devices can also be quickly added to a patient’s electronic health record or to a personal cloud-based health record such as Microsoft’s HealthVault, either or which can now be monitored remotely by a physician with an iPad.
Source: www.imedicalapps.com; Tom Lewis; March 7, 2012; www.beckersasc.com