Doctors prefer using Apple’s iPad over Android devices, according to a new study published by Black Book Rankings, a healthcare IT analysis firm.  The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires physicians and hospitals to transition towards electronic health records (EHR).

As the healthcare industry moves to adopt digital technologies, Apple’s products are becoming popular tools for doctors.  According to Black Book Rankings, 68 percent of surveyed physicians and practices chose the iPhone over Android and other smartphones.  Additionally, 59 percent said they were integrating tablets into their operations.  The iPad was the most popular tablet selected.

Most hospitals and government agencies are falling behind schedule in meeting the EHR requirement.  Some hospitals are moving forward with electronic health records and advanced clinical applications to improve productivity and care to patients.  However, most experts believe that congress and the Obama administration will simply provide extensions to the EHR requirement.

Some medical facilities are rolling out software that will give health care providers secure access to a patient’s medical history and make it easier to achieve coordinated care across various medical providers.

Credit: Commons/Wikimedia

Credit: Commons/Wikimedia

Studies show that users and patients are increasingly relying on the Internet as well as technology gadgets for medical information.  Web portals such as RxWiki are growing in traffic as a result.

RxWiki’s Digital Pharmacist network is considered an online medication encyclopedia where patients, physicians, and pharmacists obtain information about prescription drugs.  The site also publishes medication-related news and updates within minutes when new research is released.  The near real-time information is accessible by way of gadgets such as Apple’s iPad.

Apple is getting tough on medical apps in order to protect public safety.  According to medical app review site iMedicalApps, a number of medical app developers have received rejection notices from Apple because they included medication dosage information in their app.  Apple says it only accepts medical dosage information submitted by the medicine’s manufacturer.

A new study in The Journal of Pediatrics found a link between a surge in adults taking prescription drugs and an increase in children getting drug poisoning.  More than 70,000 children a year are evaluated in the hospital for accidental drug poisoning.

Digitalization of healthcare records has often been a costly endeavor in the public sector.  Earlier this year, the U.S. Defense Department announced that it probably wasted $1 billion of taxpayer money over the course of five years in trying to implement an EHR initiative.  Without significant help from private contractors, the Pentagon’s program managers were simply not up to the gargantuan task of digitizing health records across multiple government agencies each using incongruent technologies and databases.