Dr. Mark Vadney, an anesthesiologist at Jefferson Anesthesia Services in Watertown, N.Y., participated in the Epocrates physician survey. Vadney said he has owned an iPad from "the very first day they came out." He is currently waiting to get the new iPad Mini when it's in stock locally.
"My current iPad is full of medical apps for ultrasound regional anesthesia, anesthesiology textbooks, and medical calculators," Vadney said. "The new iPad Mini is exciting because it will take a bit of the heft away of the current iPad without changing any of the functionality I need from it."
Vadney said the iPad's resolution is "terrific" for ultrasound image evaluation, and from a non-radiologist point of view, the resolution is good enough for his needs.
Along with Epocrates' point of care medical applications, Vadney said his favorite apps are the Kindle's mobile app, which he uses to download anesthesiology textbooks, a pediatric care unit medical calculator that generates tables of recommended medication doses, and an anesthesiology ultrasound app.
Asked what sets the iPad Mini apart from other small tablets, such as the Google Nexus 7 or tablets specifically made for physicians, such as the Motion C5v Tablet, Vadney said -- familiarity.
"I trust and have been happy with the iPad and all of my Apple products. They seem to be well built, deliver what is promised, and have been around for a while, and [Apple continues] to work towards improving the product," he said.
The only drawback to the iPad, Vadney said, is that it's not designed specifically for medical use. For example, iOS lacks a central file management system, so files become associated with specific apps, and it's hard to use files with other apps. Android tablets, meanwhile, do have a central file management system.
Just as with Epocrates' point of care app, other medical app providers, such as Medscape and Skyscape, make their products available on both iOS and Android-based tablets.
Marianne Braunstein, vice president of product management at Epocrates, said the company was excited about the iPad Mini launch because it is another device that supports its healthcare workflow. She said her company's physician clients were particularly happy that Apple kept the iPad user interface rather than using the iPhone's.
"On the iPhone, there are only so many things you can do with the real estate, so physicians may need more tabs to open with that," she said. "The iPad has a larger form factor, so the same information can be presented on the screen even if it's a smaller size."