An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Happy

Today, Manhattan Research announced that 75% of U.S. physicians own some form of Apple device while, unlike the general consumer market, the iPhone continues to dominate Android among physicians.

Overall, smartphone penetration among physicians has already exceeded earlier analysts’ projections of 81% by 2012. Why has Apple dominated the device market and why has smartphone adoption among physicians exceeded that of the general population?

The answer to why Apple is actually pretty simple – apple has the iPad while Android is still waiting for a real market entry to compete with Apple’s popular device. The iPad has captured physicians’ attention like no tablet (or device) before, and this trend is likely to continue as more EHR venders provide access to their systems on this device. Another potential reason for Apple’s dominance could be as simple as the availability of healthcare-related apps. Developers have shown a willingness to create apps on the iOS platform more often than on the Android OS. Of course this could be a chicken-egg scenario – more apps and more market share beget more vendors developing on the platform and the opposite. Whatever the reason, more vendors support iOS than do Android at this point. It’s also possible healthcare organizations prefer the closed app approval process required of the App Store. The open source nature of Android app development has lead to higher incidence of malware attacks, something healthcare organizations are sure to want to avoid.

As for why smartphone adoption among physicians continues to be higher than the general population – smartphones and tablets support physician workflow in many ways like no device before. Physicians are inherently mobile, whether simply rounding from floor to floor to lab in the hospital or traveling from hospital to different physician offices. Simply put, a smartphone or a tablet fit within a lab coat better than a laptop or a computer on wheels. Due to their screen size and form factor, these devices run applications that must focus on efficient user interaction and experience with near instantaneous “boot up” time.

Bottom line, where physicians’ are involved, smartphones and tablets appear to cure what ails EHR adoption.

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About healthitjunkie

Over the past 18 years, I've had the pleasure of experiencing healthcare as a provider, administrator, technology vendor and enthusiast. Regardless of one's perspective or position, the challenge and promise of technology to impact healthcare has never been greater or more exciting. Although I'm passionate about healthcare technology, my "real" job is as a husband and father of two who also happens to enjoy cycling as much as possible.

Posted on May 4, 2011, in Apple, mHealth, mobile, physician adoption, physicians, smartphone and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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