According to an article from Computer Weekly, mobility and accessibility are the driving factors behind the adoption of ruggedized tablets over computers on wheels (CoWs) in healthcare settings. As mentioned in a previous blog post, CoWs have several downsides, including:
- They can be cumbersome to move from room to room
- When CoWs are moved between patient rooms, there is a risk of infection spreading between patients
- Many CoWs lack reliable Wi-Fi connectivity
- Battery consumption is high with CoWs
Tablets are more accessible, can be wiped down, and have a relatively longer battery life. Wi-Fi connectivity may still remain an issue as long as medical tablets have consumer-grade wireless modules. According to the Computer Weekly article, hospitals require robust wireless networking because poor networking will impede the way clinicians access medical data.
The article also mentions that, in addition to patient care, medical tablets have made IT part of the clinician’s day-to-day work and remove a lot of paperwork. Tablets also allow nurses and health professionals to access data and update records in real time, all while making hospitals more efficient and improving patient care.