Physician Smartphone Usage Surges in 2009

6 Aug

According to a manhattanRESEARCH report the number of physicians using smartphones surged to 64% in 2009.  This is useful of a couple of strategic fronts.  The utilization of smartphones is an indication of how connected physicians are becoming and their reliance toward “always on” information.  In my mind this places mobile device development within my cross hairs.  The question then becomes what mobile devices do you develop for and do you become a jack of all trades and support multiple devices.   With RIM and Nokia still leading the pack in market share it is very interesting to note that neither vendor has had their marketshare double year over year as Apple has only being in the mobile phone market for three years.Gartner smartphone Q1 2009

As I sit through several meetings you can’t help but notice the landscape of mobile devices in use.  I pay special attention to those used by our physicians of whom many carry two phones.  One provided by the clinic and another personal device which is almost always an iPhone.   With the vast advances in the iPhone SDK and the internal encryption provided within the OS I feel this device is ready for prime time development.  Our EMR development will lay the foundation for development of mobile solutions for our providers and nurses.  I’m anxious to start building upon the foundational components of our EMR development and exploiting our service oriented architecture (SOA) approach.  It is my belief that each platform (mobile, client, web, kiosk, etc…) has its own unique characteristics that the user interface should exploit.  While I like the idea of a Tablet PC I think it has been stymied in its use of applications that were not developed with a touch or non-keyboard driven interface in mind.  If you really want to drive adoption of an application you must trancend a single interface approach and open yourself to exploring the most efficient method for interacting with your application.  For physicians this interaction comes at a cost of speed in documenting.  I know of very few applications that have solved this very effectively and none of which were done with mobile applications in mind.  I’m excited about some of our approaches within our current development pipeline and will continue to blog about our experiences.

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