Medical Emergencies Shows Use of iDevices Among Healthcare Workers

So far, 2014 hasn't been the best year for my family health wise. Three days into the new year, my son broke his wrist while in a snowboarding lesson. Last week, I was hospitalized for two days because of a bad reaction to a new medication.

Through these two health emergencies, I noticed something in common with the different hospitals we visited; they both used iDevices as part of their care. While using iDevices is nothing new to the healthcare industry, I still found it interesting.

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When the doctor came to see my son in the emergency room after x-rays were taken, she brought the results in on an iPad to show us. She pinched and zoomed to show us an up close view of the fracture on my son's wrist.

During my recent hospital stay, I was worried about a new medication's interaction and side effects after a very bad experience with a previous one. I voiced this concern to my nurse. He quickly whipped out his iPhone, tapped on an app called Medscape (free) and gave me the information I was asking for within a minute instead of looking it up on the hospital's computer and then giving me the information the next time he visited my room. Medscape is listed as the top app downloaded by medical Heath professionals. According to Healthworks Collective, more than 3 million healthcare professionals use this app to gain clinical information.

I can't say for sure, but it appeared to me that the nurse's iPhone was his personal device and not one provided by the hospital. This would fit with a survey performed by Aruba Networks that found 85 percent of providers support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) into the healthcare workplace.

Another survey of physicians shows that as medical records go increasingly digital, Apple's iPad and iPhone are the top choices for interacting with health records and staff. According to information in the electronista article, the iPad is the doctors' device of choice for viewing and interacting with patient health records, with 59 percent of office-based physicians saying they already integrate or are integrating tablets into their operations, with the iPad being the top choice. The survey also showed that 68 percent of the doctors chose the iPhone over Android or other platforms for medical use.

I hope that my family's two healthcare emergencies are all that will occur in 2014. The two experiences have me encouraged though that the medical community is using the latest technology to help me and my family through whatever health crisis we may have.

What kind of experience have you had with iDevices being used in a healthcare setting?

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Paula is a freelance media broadcaster and journalist. She enjoys life at home with her husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats and a parrot. Her iPhone is never more than two feet away from her and she can't imagine life without it.