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10 Insights on the iPad

Ipad The iPad got it right and will set the standard for a new and improved way to enjoy our connected lifestyle. The iPhone blazed the way as it shifted mobile phones from something to talk on…to powerful multi-app platforms that solve many problems and just happen to make phone calls, too.

The iPad and soon many similar devices will revolutionize the way we experience life and work from newspapers, t.v. and movies to fitness, personalized health and medical services. Here are 10 insights for delivering person- centered fitness, health and health care inspired by the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch from Apple, the world’s leading MD (Mobile Device) company.

1. Keep it Simple The iPad, like the iPhone before it, is so easy to use it is instinctive – as if coded into our social DNA. Over 75 million iPod Touch and iPhone customers have trained on it – most without ever opening a manual.

2. Power to the People – The iPad delivers another amazing device that solves people’s problems. Healthcare, despite the rhetoric, continues to have a wholesalers’ mentality. But, with this device, people become empowered to take fitness and healthcare into our own hands, literally. Sometimes we act as consumers and other times we have to be the patient. This device allows for and understands our many differing needs and is able to offer guidance and connections via apps and games to show us the way.

3. Too Cool – The iPad is likely to be so fun to use that, like the iPhone and iPod Touch, it’s addictive. The iPad will be a great tool for surveys, patient sign ins, registrations, waiting rooms, concierge service for the patient and extending health out to wherever customers/patients might be. We suspect that even poorly designed content and programming will be more interesting and engaging on the iPad.

4. Keep the Change – Do you want to pay $259 for a basically single function black and white electronic reading device? Or would you pay a bit more for a light, colorful, way cool device that has thousands of entertaining games and problem solving apps that can serve nearly every whim and fancy you have? Yes, the 1.0 version of the iPad will have some drawbacks, but many people will gladly pay more for color, the increased screen size and tons of functionality to support their lives.

5. Plant the Seeds and a Thousand Flowers will Bloom – The platform that the iPad uses is robust with functionality, delivers critical mass (with iPhone/iPod Touch users) and lives within a thriving marketplace (iTunes). The iPad platform is the Holy Grail to: innovators, developers, entrepreneurs, medical devices, motivating and sensing solutions, social networks, customized and enterprise programming, and more. It is likely that product designers, marketers, and I dare say governments, will move forward at light speed to leverage this platform to deliver expanded value to their products and services.

6. Size Does Matter – Joy is a big screen. In the world of televisions, bigger is better. In the world of mobile devices, small, bright and colorful is nice, but if you can get a bigger screen in a light, easy to carry form, then that’s the ticket. Sales of the Kindle and other portable readers indicate that the market exists and the iPad just put down a trump card – especially with the grand opening of their own bookstore to go with their music store and the 140,000 apps/games and counting.

7. Gaming4Health Anytime, Anywhere – From YouTube, Facebook, TV, Radio, Books, Gaming, Music, and going to dinner, the mobile electronic fireplace just got a bright new view on life. We are social animals and mobile devices in the image of the iPad connect us, surround us, support us and entertain us. More people now spend time gaming online than watching videos. Facebook and MySpace have gaming as a central part of their growth strategies. (Cue the eFuturist voice) “The MD – Mobile Device is … the future of fitness, health and healthcare!” The iPad will help change the “I should” of health care to “I Get to” achieve my fitness and health goals with family and friends.

8. Building Connections with Bricks & Mobile – Follow the yellow brick…mobile. MDs (Mobile Devices) not M.D.s (Medical Doctors) are the most important health appliance today and tomorrow. Healthcare providers must drop the “Bricks and Mortar” mindset and move to “Bricks and Mobile.” Success will be measured not in physical locations, but in the number of Mobile Devices like the Drod, iPhone and iPad that run your “care” button. And the key to making mobile work lies in enabling fitness and health in “person” centered, game-like approaches that makes health fun and entertaining – or “productive entertainment.”

9. The Doctor is Always “In” – The iPad will be an extremely powerful and engaging way for health care professionals to interact and connect with people. It is not only an incredible resource “Open 24/7,” but also an awesome and awe-inspiring jack of all trades tool. It will be an empowerment tool. The potential to extend care every minute of every day through innovative business models opens new avenues for connection, communication and care in all forms.

10. An Apple – iPad – a Day Keeps the Doctor Away – The iPad and similar MDs (Mobile Devices) will enable and support people in being their own ConsumerMDTM by delivering a vast array of fitness, health and medical applications anytime, anywhere from the ubiquitous cloud of connectivity. Plus it will activate and support us in getting fitter with friends and family through the power of connected social networks. Obesity is viral. Health is viral. An Apple iPad will continue the trend of activating people to get fit with friends as part of our community.

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18 replies »

  1. pretty, but the low-end device has half as much memory as my iPod touch — which fits in my pants pocket. i see no ‘hands-free’ option for the iPad. i will be interested to see it in real life. dimensions, etc.

  2. I think number #5 should have the App Store added to it. It is the huge software base (and the variety of it –from ebook readers to medical encyclopedias) that will make the iPad successful

  3. I admit it … I’m an App Addict! Recently I used a bunch of apps on the iPhone (e.g., the GPS app, Yelp! (the restaurant review app), and a ton of games and web surfing) to get me through my last trip. I can only imagine how much nicer it would be to have more screen real-estate and even more apps to get me through my day-to-day world. Next – apply this to health care so I can have access to medical information, see reviews of doctors and other medical services, my own health and fitness tracking – plus competitive games to help me stick with my diet and exercise regimen? It sounds pretty revolutionary to me. And I think the place to start the health care revolution is with the people – with a renewed focus on prevention and wellness. I’m sure it will take a few iterations to finally get there – but, I, for one, am ready to hop on that train.

  4. A game changer. The combination of visual size, light weight, simplicity, low cost, and endless potential solutions make this a game changer to extend electronic healthcare methods from young to old. Young people are use to the power of the internet, now applications can be build to work across multiple presentation methods; iPod, iPhone, iPad, PC, and more. The youngster’s today carry these with them on a regular basis, the iPad extends that to next level. The middle-aged and elderly I think will be some of the largest potential impact of the iPad, electronic books and low price will have a similar affect that iTunes introduced and will expand the fundamental use of computers. This group will carry their iPad to read a book, search for new receipts, perform their electronic healthcare activities (perform rehab tasks, check on meds, etc.), and connect with their electronic kids/grandchildren.

  5. iPad and future generations and all the coming replicators from competitors will be the electronic “clip board” and medicine loves clip boards!

  6. Like all things Apple, the design is very cool. And I have no doubt that the iPad will spur new possibilities. But it remains to be seen how quickly those who work in healthcare actually embrace the possibilities or adopt the device or the the applications that will be developed for it. I hope I’m wrong, but like every other ‘great new thing for healthcare,’ it will likely take many years to gain traction.

  7. My organization is looking seriously into distributing iPads to our COE network for gathering data into our disease registry. It offers huge benefits: text entry on a glass (i.e., easily sterilizable) keyboard, easy survey data entry, enough screen real-estate for questions and answers (I had been considering iPhones/iPods). If I provide it to my docs, it’s a perfect fit for its primary use (participation in my study) and offers extras that will ensure that they will keep it handy (which they wouldn’t with a laptop). I can provide them with color-coded skins for doc, patient, and research assistant versions and a simple, lockable box with slots for storage. There’s nothing I don’t like about the iPad for medicine.

  8. I agree with Maggie. Think this is a tipping point moment. Look at iTunes. Before iTunes digital music was all potential and problems that nobody was going to be able to solve. Ever. Or so the argument went. Remember Napster?
    Five years after the iPod- or wherever we are now – a market has been revolutionized. To my eye, the iPad is the perfect tool for doctors. It’s light. Stylish. And the sort of thing a doctor isn’t going to mind carrying around with them as they see patients. Essentially a smart clipboard. I’m less wowed by the consumer applications. (Although there is considerable potential on the publishing side and perhaps in the waiting room / front office.) My guess is that the firm that designs a lightweight, intuitive, non-annoying, human-friendly electronic medical record that works well with the iPad could own the market ….

  9. Here are is an update from my http://www.twitter.com/eFuturist messaging: Put me on the iPad list. I just stood for 30 minutes in the hall of the mHealth conference doing demos on my Dell notebook…it felt like I completed 3 sets of curls. Good exercise but not cool professionally. Not fun either. I do agree that I probably will wait for the 2nd or 3rd version to allow bugs to be worked out and features added.

  10. It’s all about Vision. I am confident that Apple will move quickly and open the way to numerous apps that will make this an indispensable tool not only within healthcare but in other industries as well. I truly believe the sky’s the limit when it comes to creative ways to implement this product.

  11. A day late, and a dollar short. Steve should have delayed the release of this incomplete device. Lack of memory slots, lack of windows interface, lack, lack, lack…Looks nice, but an overgrown iTouch or iPod sine cell connectivity…Wait for ver 3.0, soon to be announced (in about six months as per Apple’s business model)

  12. I think that as mobile devices become more commonplace and comfortable, there will be increasingly more ways to apply them for the healthcare world. Certainly the idea of carrying the Web with you in a lightweight and portable device is appealing and having access to all sorts of health information on the go is the next step to empowering individuals’ well being. Nice thoughts here Doug, thanks!

  13. This article “The iPad’s 10 Insights for MD Success in Health” above represents various observations stimulated by the announcement of the iPad by Apple. It’s not about the specific features in this version of the iPad. It’s about the “form factor” delivered by the iPad. It’s about lessons illustrated that can guide product and service development in fitness, health and medical care. In 10 years we will look back and wonder how we survived carrying all that laptop weight for years. Just like we look back now and wonder how we carried the Motorola cell phone brick many years ago. Why did it take Target to redesign the Rx pill bottle to be color coded, easier to read, etc.? Because they focus on people’s needs and problems and design solutions for those problems.

  14. I don’t get it. The thing looks really cute, but what can I do on the iPad that I cannot do on my laptop, or Netbook, other than reading Apple books?

  15. I’m not sure I agree on this device as any major step forward (no flash for Internet, no portable media card slot, many failings and this is really just another tablet in a world of failed tablet devices) but I agree with the premise that the existing base of iPhone/smartphone users should be tapped to pilot the use of health-related applications. I hope that someone develops a compelling consumer-facing application for health-related data on these devices soon because I am starting to think that the public at large is just not interested in using the tool for that.

  16. Now, Apple needs to step up to the plate and initiate the necessary apps to make the iPad a vital tool in the medical and health fields. Seems like a natural. Steve?

  17. Great article. The iPad and other similar devices can also serve to aggregate health information from devices for communication with games and/or a physician. The possibilities are endless.
    -Alan Viars

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