The iPad and Healthcare: Tell me less about the device & docs, more about how patients benefit

Fun to read all the mentions, reviews, free and sometimes paid reports about how off the shelf iPads are being used in healthcare. More fun to read between the lines given that the iPad wasn’t specifically designed for healthcare use. I suspect there are meetings happening in HIT and dedicated medical device companies which focus on “how do we stop this off-the-shelf device known as iPad from eating our very profitable, high margin proprietary device and application lunch?” Wonder what we can expect when the first generation of Android tablets hit the healthcare market? Will a lower device cost and easier application distribution drive more tablets into use by healthcare professionals?

But here’s the real question. Now that we’ve established there is adoption of the iPad by health professionals (hurrah), could we hear more about how patients are getting benefits from iPad use? How patient outcomes are improved by iPad applications? I know that patient perspectives don’t have the same zippy headline and click potential of new shiny hardware stories. I know that doctors telling stories about the iPad hardware use – dust, dirt, cleaning, battery life, etc. – are easier to quote.

But how about sharing the patient perspective on the iPad use in healthcare for a change?

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(Credit for graphic: http://mobihealthnews.com/8731/infographic-sizing-up-the-ipad-for-healthcare/ )

 

Live long and live happy? Longevity is the new normal. Who’s working on the happy part?

(via ilovecharts) Although this is interesting, it frustrates me that “additional average life expectancy” is featured so prominently. I think it’s a metric that’s outgrown its usefullness. When life expectancy was growing like mad over the past 100 years, it was useful. Now its growth isn’t so dramatic. The real questions are:  Do we really want to live as 90 year olds for as long as we can? Should we really keep people alive so that we don’t even know who’s dying anymore?   We should be focused more on “additional happiness expected after age 65.” Unfortunately, that’s too waffly for the doctor and statistician types.

(via http://ilovecharts.tumblr.com/)

Jay Parkinson wonders if we should be focus on “additional happiness expected after age 65” versus focusing on “additional life expectancy.” According to various sources, more people age 65 and over are alive today than ever in recorded history. People over 80, the “oldest old”, are the fasting growing population segment. Wonder why we don’t see more visible changes in retail and other basic services matched to creating more satisfaction for those experiencing longer life expectancies? Why aren’t local governments coming up with new property tax scenarios for those over 65 so that schools get essential funding but seniors are not forced to move? Seems like the reality of longevity has not been matched by responsible changes in policy, practice and commerce.