In a recent blog posting, Jennifer Bresnick quoted Microsoft’s Peter Han’s thoughts on what mobile EHR users look for in a tablet – it’s an interesting read.

At BlueMetal, we build lots of tablet applications on lots of platforms (including Windows 8, iOS, and Android), and are especially interested in helping healthcare providers improve patient care via careful application of mobile technologies.  In reading Peter’s thoughts, it’s clear that he’s identified many of the non-functional requirements we’ve heard echoed by many of our clients across industry verticals (e.g. long battery life, pocket-sized form factors.)  But he also put his finger on some healthcare provider-focused features (e.g., cleanliness/cleanability), which are key to mass adoption.

I worked for a couple of years with a team that built clinical applications on early slate computers for a healthcare group based in Boston, and I was often surprised by what providers cited as critical app features versus those they felt were unimportant.  In response to an email question I sent about tablet usage in clinical settings, an ER doctor responded “when you can provide a device that fits in my pocket and enables me to respond to this message while standing in the middle of the ER without my having to support my arms, then you’ll have something I think will be useful.”

We’re fortunate to be here at a time when such devices are readily available.   There’s so much we can do with devices that can capture typed, written, spoken, and video input, which can also securely store, upload, and download data. It’s now up to us to provide applications worth (and worthy of) using in these settings.  If you’re interested, we’d be glad to discuss – thanks.