A Medical Apple Tablet...good idea?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iMacZealot, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    My dad's a doctor, and he started a company about eight years ago where doctors could place their charts online, bill the patients online, and it included an online scheduling system. I spent a few hours in the ER earlier this week, and all of these gave me a great idea: a multipurpose Apple medical tablet.

    This tablet doctors would carry would send and receive information from the hospital or practice's server (Xserve?) that stored charts, xrays, catscans, MRI's, etc. The tablet would be able to retreive and send this data all through "Charts" and "Viewer" applications. It would also including a paging application (called "Page") that would be similar to text messaging. Also, a "Library" of research and literature like the Physician's Desk Reference (a book my dad lugs around all day that's about eight inches thick) would be able to be retreived from the server.

    Those are the four main applications. Another set are more personal utilities. There would be a web browser to also get information, a scheduling system (that may or may not be server-based; for hospital doctors, no, but for doctors like internists (like my dad), it would be), a "notes" WP application for jotting quick things down, and a "System Preferences".

    The tablet, as I touched on earlier, would have slightly different functions from hospital doctors to internists and other specialty doctors. Specialty doctors would find a billing application very useful, for example, whereas it would be useless to hospital doctors. Also, the "Page" application wouldn't be as useful to specialty doctors, as the only time my dad gets paged is on certain weekends when he answers to people's questions and needs. They call his office and get the answering service, who page him with the patient's phone number and a brief synopsis of his or her condition. On the other hand, hospital doctors are paged constantly. Anyways, as I also mentioned before, the scheduling application would be server-based for specialty doctors whereas it wouldn't be for hospital doctors.

    The tablet could also "dock up" to various medical machines or a monitor to blow up what's on the screen.

    Oh, and, as I think of it, nurses could have desktop systems that would either run the MedTablet OS or at least Mac OS X with versions of these applications.

    I've including a mockup image of the operating system. I just pulled pictures from application packages and the system library. I know it looks silly with the serif font and pinstripes, but I thought that this look suited the function of it pretty well.

    What do you think?

    Attached Files:

  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Interesting niche application.

    I've thought before that hospitals/clinics are one of the only environment where tablet PCs make sense. My father is also a doctor (radiology) and I imagine that there are some pretty cool potential applications there for manipulating MRIs, CT, PET, etc. Especially if you incorporate multitouch!
  3. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I would say for apple to do that it would be a bad idea. There is just not enough of market for apple to do it.

    Apple is already a very small niche computer so a lot of niche software is never made for apple because lets face it there is just no money making a niche software very a very very niche OS and system.

    PC tend to run the medical world because they are the general computer and vast majority of companies and people use them so a niche peice of software will have a much better chance of working there.

    Now you idea would be a great one just saddly it would need to be on the PC to have any real market for it.
  4. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Yeah, my dad's company is entirely web based, and they initially used Windows CE devices like this one, but they were too slow and most doctors using the service eventually started using desktops or tablets. My dad likes his tablet, although his screen is horribly cracked and he stepped on the pen by accident. He likes the portrait setup, though.

    I also thought "hmm, well, this thing might be too big to carry if it has a keyboard" but then I realised that they could just do multitouch!
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    What do I think? It doesn't matter much...

    What does Steve Jobs think? He thinks this:


  6. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Did you read the article?

    Ain't gonna happen.
  8. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Sorry, only read the bit you quoted...

    I still think that they could make a half-way tablet between an iPhone and Modbook
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Since the switch over to intel I have put very little faith in what SJ has said in the past.
    At one time SJ was bashing intel chips and saying how much they suck an then low and behold apple goes over to intel and stated oh how much better than they are then PPC.

    Now I think it was the right move for apple to do it but the set up for PPC is they can go faster in teh long run that and apple kind of started buying in the the Mhz myth back during the PPC days pushing for higher clock speeds over really faster chips.

    Just remember SJ use to say intel was a bad idea and I believe at one time he stated it would never happen. Or not going to make a cell phone.....
  10. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    My principal has a tablet. He uses it to go around to classes and take note. Why you can't use a piece of paper is beyond me.
  11. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Tablet have there place, but I can't see Apple enter yet another new market for a while.

    Phones(hopefully we'll see more iPhones soon)
    Music Player
    Computer(the more main stream ones, normal desktop and laptop)
    Digital Living Room(not sure what else to call the :apple: TV)

    But then again maybe Apple will come out and prove me completly wrong w/ another multi touch device
  12. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
    A tablet specificaly for medical situations will not happen, there isn't a big enough market.
  13. Mammoth macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    Bingo. Tablets are expensive. A good one from Toshiba will cost about $3000. All Apple has to do is make an affordable one with decent specs and they have the majority of the tablet market share.
  14. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    I don't think I should've said tablet...imagine two iPhones (or Treos or Sidekicks, they're all about the same except for in thickness) juxtaposed, but one device, one 4:3 screen, no button on the front surface. The Apple Menu actually would serve as the shut down or sleep functions. It wouldn't have handwriting recognition or anything (I agree, why not just write your memos on a sheet of paper?) but rather a virtual QWERTY keypad like the iPhone. The device would be very iPhone-like in terms of interface, even though the one I designed looked like something from Mac OS 10.0.0 .

    Also, since everything's server-based for the most part, Apple wouldn't have to put hard disks into the tablets or desktops, thus cutting down on the cost.

    And like the iPhone, these things would run modified versions of OS X, only I've called it "Med OS", a play on words of "Mac OS". It'd be pretty stable. As for the server, it'd probably be an Xserve or something. And that desktop might be something like an iMac G4 with a screen that swiveled 360 degrees for maximum sharing. The base would be significantly smaller.
  15. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    Didn't he also say at one time that they would not make a phone. Right now I don't think that a tablet would be a good idea, but it may be a good tthing in a few years. I think that they should watch the sales of the modbook to see if there is any market and if there is then start to make tablets, isn't that what they did with notebook computers?

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