Mobile Medicine

by Dr Nick

Mobility and medicine has long been a staple of clinicians lives. With the increasing penetration of wireless and connectivity we have seen increasing ability to access information on the move but data capture continued to be a challenge. Now technology is catching up and providing tools and technologies that will allow physicians to be effective anywhere, anytime and any place (almost)

As you can see from the video above and the original article posted (Nuance Medical Transcription iPhone Medical App) that features both a dictation application for clinical notes example and the ability to voice in a medical search and return results from various clinical knowledge providers including Medscape, Epocrates, and Medline. Critical to this will be the SDK component allowing other vendors to include these tools in their applications speech enabling clinicians who need access to information and the ability to capture clinical data while on the move. As Felasfa Wodajo, MD stated in his post:

..seems to have generated a fair bit of interest, judging from other websites and the traffic at the booth. I suspect this is justified as physicians are only too happy to get rid of their dictaphones and not have to sit in front of a computer microphone

 This is just part of mobility and integrating the right tools into an increasingly mobile and distributed clinical care team will need some innovation especially when it comes to portability and power. Without belaboring the point Apple seems to have done it again with the iPad which has addressed the power issue with true all day usability. The only question now seems to be is it portable enough not to weigh too heavily on the clinician carrying the unit. The ergonomic challenges that occur as a result of having to hold the device and write on it at the same time remain. This was true when the tablet computers first hit the streets and a range of carrying cases appeared to help but never really solving the challenge of the constant weight applied to a wrist held in a horizontal orientation.

Meanwhile integrating alternative data capture methods to ease this burden will be important. How has your iPad experience been and is the weight and shape/size workable or not. Have you managed ot use the dictation method to capture data and was ti effective?

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