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Australian State Govt. To Fund iPads For Doctors 97

angry tapir writes "The current premier of the Australian state of Victoria, John Brumby, has promised every doctor in Victoria's public hospital system would be issued with an Apple iPad if his incumbent Labor Government was returned to power in the state's upcoming election."
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Australian State Govt. To Fund iPads For Doctors

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  • by cloricus ( 691063 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @05:05AM (#34194346)

    Looks like this has been floating around for a good while.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @05:07AM (#34194358) Homepage Journal

    I'm a Victorian but I have only been skimming the news. Basically our politicians are saying whatever they think might help them get [re]elected even if it sounds totally stupid. For example the Liberal party is proposing to build train lines in metropolitan Melbourne. In my 45 years of living in this city the only thing the Liberals have done with trains is close them down (and then Labor reopen them), so a Liberal politician who says he is going to build a train line is clearly talking crap.

    The iPads will be forgotten on the Sunday morning after the Saturday election.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @05:09AM (#34194370)

    Is this kind of thing legal?

    Why wouldn't it be?

    Also, do you want Apple to control what kind of software your health care system can use?

    Apple does not "control what kind of software [they] can use". It's also extremely unlikely there are any legitimate medical apps that are being outright rejected from Apple's store (which, contrary to popular misconception, is not the only official way to distribute iOS apps).

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:39AM (#34194698)

    Giving everyone an iPad doesn't strike me like a policy implementation in response to a specific need, but rather as trying to win an influential group with shiny presents.

    Outside of Slashdot's event horizon, many companies have already issued large number of iPads to their employees for specific purposes, and very successfully so. Very often with purpose written applications that don't go through Apple's app store (shell out a little bit more than the usual $99 for an "enterprise" developer account and you can install iPhone and iPad apps from your own servers). I don't make lists of this stuff, just use Google, but I remember Daimler Benz issuing iPads to their sales people very successfully.

  • Re:App store (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhunkySchtuff ( 208108 ) <kai@automatica.c[ ]au ['om.' in gap]> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:45AM (#34194716) Homepage

    No, in an enterprise environment (or anywhere else really for that matter) you are free to sign up as a developer, get a developer signing certificate and deploy apps to iOS devices under your control and these apps don't have to go anywhere near the app store.

    Have a look starting at page 63 here: []

  • by grimJester ( 890090 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:32AM (#34194856)
    The part you're quoting has an "Original research" label. Not that the analogy isn't realistic, but the Wikipedia text is probably some random dude's ramblings. There's no way to know if they would have lost without it and (in the matrix below) implementing a policy without promising to do so first is considered impossible.
  • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:30AM (#34195400) Homepage

    If not for the cool-factor, is there a reason for giving iPads to the doctors instead of some other pad?

    As someone who has studied medicine, and worked a bit in the clinic (although now I mainly do research, I still have to work as a military doctor, thanks to Switzerland having such an antiquated concept as a "compulsory military service")
    let me say to you :

    We are completely dependant on electronic assisting devices. Long before Apple even started marketing mere music player (let alone PDA/smartphone capable devices) PDA such as Palms and Psions have been immensely popular among my peers.
    There's an overwhelming quantity of applications :
    - General PIM applications : Notes (so you can easily carry your personal schemas, recommendations, memory aids, etc.), calendar, address book
    - Lots of reference material (and it's much practical to carry around 1 single PDA, rather than the equivalent amount of books. Specially since some, like drugs compendiums aren't pocket-sized at all but look like dictionaries)
    - Assisting applications (formula calculators, patient tracking/note taking, etc.)
    - There are even advanced medical application running on iOS like radiology displaying apps (OsiriX). So you can directly show X-Rays on your device (bedside!) instead of having to log onto a nearby computer or even worse - rely only on expensive X-Ray films.
    And that's only the software and data which is useful to a single person alone, now factor in that if some platform is widespread, you can even start developing applications which are useful at the hospital level (dictation software inside the PDA which can then automatically send the dictated report over the network ; a network client could access the patient's file when you need to lookup results or history again bedside!).

    So yes, providing electronics to doctors *do* help them, and making a *single specific* platform available in all hospital help the hospital itself (the hospitals could start using an iPad-based dictation, use the iPad as device to display X-Ray pics).

    Only, I would prefer a more pocket-able form factor than a tablet. That's why I still used Palm PDAs until recently, and now switched to a smartphones (a PalmPre), although the tablet form factor would be more useful to display x-ray pics.
    Also, I would prefer a less vendor-controlled device. That's why my smartphone runs WebOS (Konami code for the win !)
    Last but not least, compared to other tablets, the iPad is just an oversize iPod Touch. What I mean is that it lacks some important elements like a USB or SDIO port to interface with chip-cards (for log-in/access control, as done on desktops).

  • by LDAPMAN ( 930041 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:11PM (#34197130)
    The only burden on the end user is to select the app for installation in iTunes and their is even a way to automate that. All the other steps are for the developer.
  • Re:A non story (Score:3, Informative)

    by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#34197736)
    I don't consider this reckless spending. the iPad is in use in many hospitals in the US by providers, not as a toy, but in real useful ways.

    In our case, because there is a Citrix plugin for the iPad, providers can log into our informatics system on an iPad via wireless and do basically anything they can do from the PC they normally use. Place orders, view results, read documentation, more or less anything.

    Because the iPhone uses the same plugin, they can use those in a pinch too, say from the golf course or what have you.

    These devices may not seem to fill a niche in our homes that isn't already covered for most people, but they can provide a lot of flexibility and function in health care.

The absent ones are always at fault.