"The way the app is architected, the brains are really on the back end, regardless of whether it's Android or iOS," says Portale. "The work we have to do with iOS is port the different screens, the look and feel and the interaction in the app over to iOS. We have our own API that we developed where we expose our back-end infrastructure out to mobile devices and iOS is going to talk to the same API that Android talks to."
Portale adds: "It's really about doctors and nurses learning the app first, independent of what device and OS it's on. The app is going to look the same."
With the medical industry's strict security regulations always looming, Portale acknowledges that Android does not have the greatest reputation for security as of late. But he feels confident about the security of the MIAA app because his staff has incorporated the same user authentication, security and audit requirements into the app that exist in the hospital's traditional systems. Also, users are required to have VPN access into the PPH network, and multi-factor authentication.
And just as important, the MIAA data on mobile devices doesn't live there.
"The patient data is streamed from our legacy systems to the app and viewable to physicians in real time, but no data is stored there," he says.
Portales encourages CIOs to outsource or set up their own lab environments to test consumer and enterprise devices and work toward opening up their legacy systems to mobile apps. Legacy systems are often old, he says, so recasting them as mobile apps is something you may have to do yourself because waiting for a vendor could take too long.
"Developing your own app gives you a competitive advantage," he says. "And it will make your user community much happier with touch-based apps and devices that fit in their pockets."
Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Shane at email@example.com
Read more about mobile/wireless in CIO's Mobile/Wireless Drilldown.