The iPad will see you now…

In case it isn’t obvious I’m a really big fan of all efforts to introduce tablets into waiting rooms as I see it as one of the key ways by which disruptive patient computer dialogue innovations will diffuse to transform the practice of modern medicine.

I thought it might be helpful to share the series of events that take place whenever I’ve seen a paper patient clipboard replaced by a connected tablet based solution (and we’ve now helped partners to introduce these to Dental, Veterinary and leading Medical Clinics):

> Clinicians immediately see the high level of patient acceptance

> The patient feels more “listened to” and organised.

> The Clinic realises it not only “looks good” but the process saves time and money as they stop having to type up and throw away reams of paper

> The patient asks if the experience is available on the clinics website so they can complete it before coming in next time. The clinic begins to realise how mobile first design would be a good approach to take with their website.

> Clinicians immediately begin to realise this is similar to a pilots checklist and there is a opportunity to make it interactive and use it to collect more information without the expenditure of their time. They also remember from Medical School that there are lots of scales that they could add (Anxiety, Berlin, Conners, Educational Assessment, Pain Impairment, Rache Stress, Urology, WAST (Woman Abuse Screening Tool), Zung Depression etc).

> Clinicians then realise that patients will feel much more assured that they have had their concerns investigated because they will never again lack the time to elicit symptoms from them.

> Clinicians then get hesitant because they then realise there is a need for a more complete set of questions/answers and for the output to be much better organized so it is readable and doesn’t introduce it’s own set of iatrogenic issues.

Fortunately an amazing group of clinicians and programmers had identified this disruption was going to happen when I was still playing with ZX Spectrums and they set about building a solution that serves these needs and more. In 2005 when we sat down and tried to work out how to create a means of offering informed 3G Doctor Video Consultations directly to the public we quickly realised that it was going to be much better to partner to fill the gap and build on that than to try and reinvent something that wasn’t core to what we wanted to do and had already been done by someone who had a better idea of the various fundamental challenges than us.

Today it’s even easier as Primetime Medical now offer a software development kit for vendors looking to add patient interviewing functionality. They’ve also done the hard work of creating evidence supporting it’s effectiveness – not least of which are testimonies (that you can view here and here) from one of the most amazing clinicians I’ve ever met (Dr John Bachman MD, Prof of Primary Care at the Mayo Clinic).

I really hope DrChrono’s team see this same opportunity because I have no doubt it’s what separates a good product from a brilliant one – and as you can see in the video they have introducing their new product it’s looking pretty cool already!

NOTE: If you are based in the UK/Ireland and are interested in the opportunity to collaborate with IMH please reach out to Dr Richard Sills MD, Vice President for International Affairs at

About David Doherty
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1 Response to The iPad will see you now…

  1. Adam Eckhoff says:

    Great Post! I believe that the introduction into waiting rooms is crucial to the development of mobile health.I believe that In an environment where anytime, anyplace communication is critical, the lack of effective collaboration can result in poor decision-making, inefficient clinician workflow processes and delayed responses to patients. This is the reason that mobility and Health IT are becoming so relevant.

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