Our computing world keeps getting more untethered. We rely on mobile devices and tablets not only for personal use, like consuming media and giving virtual thumbs-ups, but also for our specific professions. One profession in particular could benefit from mobile devices: the home healthcare industry. Home healthcare workers need efficient, reliable access to patient information no matter where they go, but most home healthcare workers are not using tablets—yet.

Tablets for the mobile medical worker

Many mobile medical nurses, therapists, and professionals still depend on their laptops for work tasks, like taking notes about patient visits, helping patients learn about diagnosis, conditions, and treatments, and accessing patient records through web portals that are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Because these workers are always on the move, even simple administrative tasks have to be completed on the go—filling out time cards, submitting mileage reports, and continuing professional education, all of which could be simpler on a mobile device like a tablet.

While many of us are still glorying in the fact that these duties can all be done on a tablet, not just any tablet delivers what home healthcare professionals really need. The wrong tablet, that is, a tablet that gets between a patient and a nurse because it is difficult to work with, can reduce quality of care. Home healthcare workers know this, so many of them remain loyal to their laptops.

Putting tablets to the test

We wanted to know which tablet provided the processing performance, easy access to data, and a smooth workflow experience to improve the mobile medical care experience, for the mobile medical worker and the patient.

To find out, we went into the lab with six different device parings to pit against each other. We tested the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 against the popular Apple iPad Air, and we tested the Dell Venue 8 Pro next to the Apple iPad mini. We put them through their paces the way a home healthcare worker would:

  • We timed how long it would take for the tablets to open a file from email.
  • We evaluated how the tablets accessed critical patient data and how that information was presented.
  • We examined how the tablets displayed prescription information.
  • We tested how the tablets handled administrative tasks, like writing visitation notes or getting directions to patient addresses.

We pushed these tablets to their limits to find out which one could best assist a mobile medical professional by being responsive, multi-functional, and easy to use.

Results coming soon

Check back for the results from our home healthcare tablet experiment, which will be published soon.

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