Paper is being replaced by mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone at a rapid pace. This evolution of technology is simplifying the stressful lives of nurses, doctors and medical students.
A study performed by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) found that 71 per cent of nurses use a smartphone or iPhone whilst working. The study also found that a high percentage of nursing students use their smartphones for nursing school. According to MobiHealthNews, 85 per cent of the nurses and nursing students said they want a smartphone app version of LWW’s Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook.
Medical apps are being used by nurses as a reference or guide to topics such as materials and drugs. Apple’s App Store has its own ‘Medical’ category with apps such as the Oxford Clinical Handbook available for purchase. Students, trainees, junior doctors and nurses can all use these apps to help them with their studies and daily routines at work.
Doctors are even using the iPhone 3G as an Ophthalmology tool. A study from The Archives of Ophthalmology tested a four year old iPhone 3G as a tool to diagnose vision problems. The study consisted of 350 patients with a “headache, focal neurologic deficit, visual changes, or diastolic blood pressure”. As a result, the study concluded that “We expected equal- or lower-quality ratings for photographs displayed on the iPhone compared with the desktop computer, but instead we found that reviewers assigned higher ratings on average for photographs displayed on the iPhone”. This study and similar research reflects the integration of the iPhone and like devices in the workplace. With the expanding technology of Apple products, one can look forward to the development they will also bring to medicine.
The iPad is being used by some councillors and senior officers in the UK, who have been given the tablets to replace paper, a move that will save thousands of pounds in printing costs.
We’ve also seen how the iPad is starting to transform the work of scientists.
iPhones are also being used to help connect nursing staff within a hospital more efficiently. Devices are being given to staff in order to connect with one another through text messaging and apps. With the growing use of iPhones, it shouldn’t take long at all until all medical professionals own an iPhone, iPad and the medical apps that can be purchased with them.