What it is: Cedars-Sinai hospital is using iPads for both storing and displaying health information.
The huge mistake rivals make is that they try to duplicate and surpass the hardware features of their products compared to Apple products. That’s a huge mistake because it’s easy to shove more advanced hardware into a product. What’s more difficult is giving people a reason to use that advanced hardware.
In the smartphone and tablet market, rivals try to compete against Apple with lower prices and better technical specifications. That’s a recipe for failure. While rivals worry about prices and hardware specifications, Apple is moving towards making their products useful. One huge market that doesn’t care about prices or hardware specifications is the medical and health industry.
Cedars-Sinai hospital is using iPads for several purposes. One way is to use FaceTime to allow parents and children to interact when the children have infection diseases and need to be kept separate from other people. However, a far more interesting use for the iPad is to store and display medical information. Of course, any tablet or computer could do that. What Apple hopes to do is store medical information in a standard electronic format that’s also secure.
Now when you talk about security and online access, there can never be complete security. However, the availability and accuracy of medical information stored digitally means that health records can be accurately and quickly transferred among doctors and hospitals.
Right now, medical records are far more secure when stored in separate databases and pieces of paper. However, the huge drawback is the lack of accuracy and inability to transfer crucial information to others when needed. More than once, patients have been given penicillin or other antibiotics even though their medical records show they’re allergic to those medication. Today’s paper and half-solutions on a computer trade security for inaccuracy and inability to share.
By itself, there’s nothing special about the iPad when it comes to inputting and displaying medical information. What’s important is how that information gets stored and accessed securely, and that’s where Apple can make the iPad more secure than much cheaper Android tablets. First of all, iOS is far more secure than Android. Second, Apple can design security in rather than slap it on at a later date.
Hospitals are far less likely to be swayed by lower prices and better technical specifications than they are with devices that work and securely display information as sensitive as medical records. The iPad is never going to reach sales records it hit when it was first introduced. Instead, the iPad will find a new market in the enterprise world where price and minor hardware improvements matter far less than security and simplicity.
Apple’s big future lies in health. Real-time health monitoring will boost sales of the Apple Watch while health records will help boost sales of the iPad. While not everyone has a need for an Apple Watch or an iPad, everyone does have a need for maintaining their health. The only question is whether you’re willing to pay the price for better health or not.