Can the Apple tablet, i.e. the iSlate, resurrect interest for tablets in healthcare?

I read an interesting blog today. In the blog the author states that:

An Apple tablet would be the ultimate UI for electronic medical records. With a touch-screen display like the iPhone, using the EMR during an encounter would be simplified. For example, selecting an evaluation and management (E&M) code could be as easy as “dialing in” the code with a swipe of a finger.

Using the iPhone’s intelligent keyboard technology, the device could have a very sophisticated automatic coding tool. Some EMRs can already auto-generate E&M codes based on information collected during the patient encounter. Combine this with the iPhone’s keyboard word suggestion tool, and physicians could rapidly select codes. Additionally, just as the iPhone adapts its keys and layout for different applications, the Mac Tablet could display a unique keyboard setting for each EMR function.

Using iPhone speech recognition technology, physicians could dictate directly into an EMR to create notes, draft narrative reports or generate custom patient instructions. Mac design programs could be repurposed to make a really slick tablet drawing tool for anatomical diagrams that illustrate procedures and diagnoses.

There is no question that I think tablets are underutilized in healthcare. I have pushed them into the hands of pharmacists at my facility and have tried various different things to encourage their use. While I would love to see tablet computers adopted in mass among healthcare systems, I just don’t think it’s in the cards for the iSlate for several reasons.
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If the “tablet” is dead, why is everyone talking about it?

Anyone that knows me won’t doubt for a second that I’m a fan of the tablet form factor for a computer. I am patiently waiting for the Apple tablet (Mac Tablet, TabPod, iTablet, iPad, AppTab, etc) to arrive, as well as looking forward to test driving Windows 7 on a tablet PC. Tablet PC information on the internet is typically sparse, with little bits of information here and there. The last couple of days however, have seen an explosion in activity.
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Crossing my fingers (again) – Apple, Verizon team up on tablet. “Apple (AAPL Quote) will have a tablet computer in time for the holidays, but the company is still mulling how to sell it. The device, designed as a larger version of the iPod Touch, will have a 9-inch to 10-inch touchscreen and possibly a keyboard, as analysts, industry sources and news reports have outlined. An initial version of the long-anticipated Apple tablet will be subsidized by Verizon (VZ Quote), but Apple and Verizon “won’t be as tightly integrated” as Apple’s iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T (T Quote), says one source familiar with the companies, who asked not to be named.” – I continue to be a huge proponent of the tablet form factor for computers. Their utility is infinite and I believe Apple can certainly bring something special to the table.  Apple has an uncanny knack for creating wildly popular and inventive devices long after other vendors have gone stale. Let’s face facts; the iPhone has revolutionized the smart phone industry. My credit card hasn’t been out of my wallet in quite some time and it’s overdue for the purchase of a new toy. C’mon Apple, don’t let me down.

“What’d I miss?” – Week of July 13

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.
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Mac tablet coming soon? “The translations are a little sketchy but the ChinaTimes is basically saying that in October, Apple will launch a $800, 10-inch tablet.   Most of this information has been published before so it isn’t certain whether or not this is a rehash of that information or from new sources.  The biggest question at this point is which OSX will it run?  Will it be the Mac OS, the iPhone OS or some hybrid?  The iPod launches are usually in September so a iPod platform device would indicate some deviation.  Also, Apple’s tablet patents seem to indicate that they are working on a full MacOS tablet.” – I really hope this is accurate, especially if the Mac tablet runs on the iPhone OS. Unfortunately the Mac tablet rumor has been floating around for years and has yet to materialize into something tangible. Those of you that know me understand my infatuation with tablet computers. The tablet platform is the perfect combination of desktop power and mobile utility. Pharmacy has yet to unlock the power of tablet computers in the clinical setting, but I believe that will change in the near future. I push my tablet agenda every chance I get.