Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Should Doctors Look for in Smartphones?

This is a guest post by Kathy Wilson.

If you’re a gadget freak, then you’re probably in both a state of bliss and a state of despair – you feel like a kid in a candy shop because there are so many options to choose from, so many shiny new toys to own, and so many gadgets that vie to give you much more than the competition; but at the same time, your bank balance suffers if you indulge yourself too much and try to keep up with the latest stuff in the market. The world of technology is such that it tempts and teases with rapid advances and shinier gadgets, but if you’re not a millionaire, it’s best to choose your smartphone wisely and according to your need rather than according to the status symbol of the day.

So what do doctors need in a smartphone? Without going into the different brands and various operating systems, any medical professional must own a phone that is:

User-friendly: If you don’t know how to use all or most of the features in your smartphone, you may as well be carrying around a brick. Before you buy your phone, check if you’re going to find it easy to use. Some people like phones with a touchscreen while others swear off them; some like sliders while others go in for flip phones; and some prefer tried and tested devices like the age-old Blackberry while others want to go in for newer models of the iPhone. Whatever you buy, it’s imperative that you be comfortable with the phone and know how to use all or most of the features.
 • Effective: Your phone must be able to connect to your EMR system and provide you with instant access to patient records and other information on the go. This allows you to stay in touch with your office even when you travel and provide patients with timely care and advice. Besides this, your phone must provide access to as many medical apps as possible – with applications developed by third parties being developed to provide knowledge and information relating to most medical issues, it pays to buy a phone that is popular with the developers.

Secure: When you’re using your phone to access sensitive information like patient records, it is necessary to be careful not just with the device, but also with the data on it. Most smartphones have inbuilt protective mechanisms, but unless you use them correctly, you could end up erasing all the data on your phone inadvertently. So check out the security aspect of your smartphone before you invest in it.
Gone are the days when doctors were perceived as technological idiots. Today, it is imperative to embrace technology if you want to get ahead in your profession and keep pace with the advances that are being made by the day.

This guest post is contributed by Kathy Wilson. She welcomes your comments at her email id:

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