According to a TechCrunch report, Apple is working to get an iPad in the hands of every hospital patient, starting with a number of hospitals in the U.S., including Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego, MetroSouth Medical Center in Chicago and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. The source recently took a tour of Cedars-Sinai’s pilot program, which provides patients direct access to their vitals, care team and educational tools through iPads.
While doctors have been using iPhones and iPads in their practices for quite a while now, allowing patients access to their own information is still a novel idea in the medical world. With its EHR software My CS-Link, Cedars is allowing patients to look up their information online, including notes from their doctor. But without the iPads, doctors and nurses have to follow a paper trail and then write up duplicate information on a white board, which can lead to mistakes.
Cedars-Sinai doctor Shaun Miller told me, the staff often run out of room to write, leading to confusion or a lack of information for the patient.
Cedars uses Epic’s MyChart software to record vitals and other info on roughly 50 iPads in its heart failure unit, where patients often have to stay for an extended period of time. One patient, 32-year-old Awad Lsallum, traveled all the way from Saudi Arabia in hopes of receiving a new heart. To be honest, Lsallum did not seem that impressed with the device. He’d already been at Cedars for a total of 40 days and said he gave the iPad back after a while. But he did say it was “comforting” to have the iPad so he “knows what’s going on.”
Hospitals are also utilizing unmodified iPads to FaceTime with their newborns who may be sick or premature, something the nurses are referring to as ‘BabyTime’.