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The Health IT Tablet Shift and Some Hope for Windows 8

Posted on March 20, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the most amazing shifts that we’ve seen in healthcare is the acceptance of the tablet form factor. I’ve been fascinated with tablets since they first came out. The idea was always great, but in implementation the idea always fell apart. Many a sales rep told me how the tablet was going to be huge for healthcare. Yet, everyone that I know that got one of the really early tablets stopped using it.

Of course, the tablets that I’m referring to our the pre-iPad tablets. As one Hospital CTO told me at HIMSS, “the iPad changed tablets.

It’s so true. Now there isn’t even a discussion of whether the tablet is the right form factor for healthcare. The only question I heard asked at HIMSS was if a vendor had a tablet version of their application. In fact, I’m trying to remember if I saw a demo of any product at HIMSS that wasn’t on a tablet. Certainly all of the EHR Interface Improvements that I saw at HIMSS were all demonstrated on a tablet.

As an extension of the idea of tablets place in healthcare, I was also interested in the healthcare CTO who suggested to me that it’s possible that the Windows 8 tablet could be the platform for their health systems mobile approach. Instead of creating one iPad app that had to integrate all of their health system applications, he saw a possibility that the Windows 8 tablet could be the base for a whole suite of individual applications that were deployed by the health system.

I could tell that this wasn’t a forgone conclusion, but I could see that this was one path that he was considering seriously when it came to how they’d approach mobile. I’m sure that many have counted out Microsoft in the tablet race. However, I think healthcare might be once place where the Windows 8 tablet takes hold.

When you think about the security needs of healthcare, many hospital IT professionals are familiar with windows security and so they’ll likely be more comfortable with Windows 8. Now we’ll just have to see if Windows 8 and the applications on top of it can deliver the iPad experience that changed tablets as we know them.

Smart Phones and mHealth Apps May Be Taxable

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Do you love using your smart phone for medical purposes? Chances are, if you’re reading this, you probably do. Well, it sounds like Obamacare might just take some of the fun out of it.

According to Fox News, under the ACA, medical device manfacturers carry a 2.3 percent tax. And since smart phones and tablets can be used for medical reasons, they might just fall under that as well. And apparently, the FDA has indicated they are looking into this regulation. And Rep. Marsha Blackburn, vice chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said back in 2011 that this is not good news for consumers:

It is going to drive up the cost to consumers and it’ll drive up the cost of your cell phone.

I don’t know about you, but my cell phone bill is already way too high — and my husband and I even split the bill with my mom, dad, and little brother. Even the thought of possibly being taxed makes me want to get rid of any of my mHealth apps and devices. Of course, I won’t, because I really use them, but I do hope that this doesn’t actually happen.

I can’t imagine there is anything positive about this, but if you can think of any, please, enlighten me. I think that this will make many people turned off to the idea of mHealth, because I know that at least for me, using my smart phone to help manage my health is, in part, to help me save money. Adding a tax to smart phones and tablets will make it harder to seem like I’m doing that.