iPad and Industry: The Role of Apple's Tablet in the Digital Revolution [Infographic]

Since its debut a scant three years ago, the iPad has become more than a handy device for use around the house. It is a product that has revolutionized many aspects of our daily life. When you consider that by some estimates someone purchases an iPad every 2.8 seconds, there is no doubt as to its impact. A recent infographic courtesy of Armor Active gives us a good overview of just how much the iPad is changing the way we do business in a number of industries.


In the healthcare industry, the iPad has made some definitive strides. Hospitals and doctors are using them in varied ways. One company, Novation, created an app modeled after high-ranking business intelligence software called VHAPriceLynx. An article from eWeek shows how with the app, healthcare groups are able to get a better handle on management of purchasing procedures and maximize savings for their hospitals.

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The iPad has also seen significant usage in hospitals such as Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Miss. They're using iPads as tools to entertain children in waiting rooms and as visual aids to illustrate different medical conditions and procedures. Doctors at the Kobe University Medical Center in Japan have begun to use iPads as displays during surgery. Stanford University bought 100 iPads in 2010, which medical students now use, detailed here. And Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood has given iPads to its doctors to review patients' records with during visits.


iPads are also finding a viable role in education. They've proven to aid children diagnosed with autism in the growth of augmentative communication. The iPad's many features have proven to be a powerful tool to help these children develop in communication and grow more confident. This approach also proves to be cost effective, considering that most comparable tools and programs begin with a price of $9,000. As first reported in an article by Time Magazine in This year alone, there have been 142 apps dedicated to helping with autism that have debuted in the iTunes store.

The iPad is also making waves in college. In a 2012 article by The Huffington Post, Duke University began giving iPads to students in Global Studies programs for field research. Seton Hill University was the first to declare students would receive iPads with admission. Other colleges joining this wave are Oklahoma State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, which will give its incoming freshman class of 250,000 free iPads. As Apple has made no secret of wanting the iPad to be a digital textbook of sorts in its conferences last year, the state of Virginia recently announced its effort to make all of of its textbooks digital for use on iPads in all of its schools.


The iPad has also gained footholds in the airline industry. Since the Federal Aviation Administration's allowance of iPads in cockpit use two years ago, airlines have begun to use them more extensively. Alaska Airlines became the first airline to toss out its old paper manuals and create digital versions for flights. Retailers have created iPad kiosks for customer usage and have seen a bold upsurge in use, and not just for sales. For its recent convention in Las Vegas, AARP gave each registrant an iPad mini loaded with its app and other helpful apps like Google Maps.

The trendy fashion retailer Kate Spade has begun using iPads as information sources in its stores in Tokyo, Japan on a test basis. This initiative has been called "bold" by tech magazine Fast Company. JCPenney, Nordstrom, and Benetton are a few of the companies who employ iPads as virtual store catalogs. Make Up For Ever, an affiliate makeup company with prestigious brand LVMH, has begun using iPad kiosks in its Sephora locations. 

The iPad is certainly creating the perfect storm of innovation, practicality, and productivity for a growing number of industries. And to think, it's just getting started.


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Christopher Smith is a contributing founder/writer for Manifesto Magazine in NYC and is an indie rock reviewer for Independent Music Productions. Christopher's work has appeared in The Smoking Section, King Magazine, Parle Magazine, & IAMOnlineMag. He has two published books of poetry and runs several blogs.