Bradford Teaching Hospitals, a UK foundation trust, has awarded a contract to IT vendor Kainos to supply, install and manage iPad tablets that enable staff to access the trust’s electronic patient record systems. According to Brent Walker, the trust’s chief information officer, it could deploy up to 1,000 iPads to staff as part of the project, according to an article in The Guardian. The trust is planning a major digitisation programme of which the adoption of iPads is a part. While still handwritten notes will be scanned through an electronic document management system. Healthcare is one of the sectors where Apple’s tablet has gained popularity particularly in the US.
Walker says the original idea was to look at using desktop PCs for its digitisation process but then realised mobile technology made more sense particularly in relation to inputting data from hospital wards. Once the idea of mobile technology was accepted, Walker says the first thought was to use handheld versions of PC. Then it was decided that the iPad offered better support. The tablets will run a version of Kainos’ software that is optimised for the iPad. He also said that iPads were “literally one third of the price” of the PCs they were looking at previously although it is likely that other tablets might be cheaper. Potentially the trust will offer a tablet to every doctor it employs, he said.