iPad pilot stumbles at Seattle Children's Hospital

Categories: Latest News.

For all that clinical users of iPads kvell* about, the pilot run of iPads at Seattle Children’s Hospital led to…kvetching*. While Apple claims that 80% of hospitals are either testing or deploying the iPad, this report in CIO details the shortcomings that this one hospital experienced using the applications clinicians are accustomed to using on an iPad:

  • EMRs are unwieldy–just not built for 10 inch screens with no mouse, no keyboard
  • The Citrix virtual desktop is a disaster: pinch, zoom over and over.
  • Cerner is working to distill their app to an iPad version
  • Major security concerns about confidential data leaking to the iCloud (technically explained in the article)
Which demonstrates that the iPad–aside from sterilization and durability concerns–has a long way to go beyond demonstration stage to be useful by professionals for everyday clinical use.
*Our NY Yiddish lesson for the day. Kvell–brag; kvetch–complain.


  1. Leslie Morson

    Interesting article thank you for bringing it to our attention. It continues to amaze me, as an avid ‘Apple’ fan and early adopter, how industries curse and worship the iPad in almost equal measure. How can it be surprising that the iPad fails to live up to expectations? It begs the question who was driving the adoption, clinical staff or IT staff. People get hung up on the brand and the iPad product instead of the technology itself. The iPad has and will continue to change and influence the way many industry sectors do business, largely that change is conceptual. It is not a PC, it does not run applications that many industries rely on ‘out of the box’. I doubt there was an IT bod in the hospital eco system that wasn’t aware of the challenges and the fact that the complex databases, security firewalls and safety protocols would not be without challenge porting to the Apple iPad architecture and not give a good user experience.

    Surfing the web or reading a book is one thing, using a complex piece of software designed with desktops, keyboards and a mouse is something else.

    As an iPad user I can tell you the applications I enjoy using most are those that have been developed for the iPad taking full advantage of the form. I do not think that the iPad has failed in the hospital, the hospital perhaps failed the iPad, had unrealistic expectations, adopted new ways of working bowing to internal pressure from those who didn’t fully understand the technologies……. Now where have I come across this scenario before?