At the recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this summer, Apple® and Steve Jobs announced the upcoming release of their newest operating system, iOS 5, coming this fall. With over 200 new features built into iOS 5, this release is far from just iteration.

The iPad® development team at HealthFusion® is following the new iOS changes closely, and we are reviewing each exciting new feature. As certified iPad® developers, we have been privileged to have the opportunity to preview and test Apple’s® new iOS 5. The new operating system has many new features; most of them will make playing on the iPad® more fun, but a few will enhance the MediTouch® user experience. The operating system upgrade due out in the fall will work with the iPad® or iPad2®.

iOS 5 and MediTouch®

The following are just a few of the new iOS 5 features we believe can benefit MediTouch® users:

  • Tabbed Safari® Browser – Apple® has implemented tabbed browsing in Safari® to mirror desktop web browsers. With the implementation of tabs, users are able to navigate between pages and sites instantly, with one click. MediTouch® users will be able to easily tab between our web application and another website, like a medical knowledge or research site for example (see image below).

iOS5 Safari tabbed browser

  • Faster Page Scrolling – Now, Apple® has made it easier for developers like MediTouch® to leverage the fast (accelerated) scrolling you may have noticed on certain websites – this will make charting faster.
  • Airplay® – Display wirelessly on HD televisions using an iPad2® and Apple TV®. Airplay® enables a patient to experience the same view the physician sees on their iPad®, without looking over their shoulder; further improving the overall physician-patient interaction and experience.
  • Camera and Photos – With iOS 5, the Camera and Photos applications have become more robust, eliminating the need for additional photo applications. With autofocus and autoexposure the camera becomes even easier to use. And, with the addition of edit and crop, auto-enhance, and red-eye removal, there is no need to switch between multiple applications. Add MediTouch’s® latest feature, MediDraw®, to the equation, and the documentation, manipulation, and viewing of patient findings becomes even simpler.
  • iCloud® – Like HealthFusion’s® Pure Cloud® technology, Apple® has moved their focus to cloud computing. Apple® utilizes iCloud® in iOS 5 to provide wireless, over-the-air updates without the need to sync with a computer. There is no longer a need for traditional computers to update the iPad®; a physician can chart and run their practice without ever having to sync their iPad® to iTunes® on a standard computer. Now, just like MediTouch®, the iPad® is ready to use out of the box.

Fun with iOS 5

While the iPad® and MediTouch® are the perfect all-in-one EHR solution for any practice, we understand that most physicians also use their iPad® for enjoyment away from the office. So we have reviewed a couple of the features we thought might be of interest outside the office:

  • Reminders – A new feature that will allow you to keep better track of important dates, events, or lists. While MediTouch’s® patient scheduling and tracking of patient flow keeps you on schedule at the office, Reminders will do the same while you’re away. It merges seamlessly with other programs, such as Outlook®, iCal®, and iCloud®, meaning Reminders will automatically be pushed to all Apple® devices. Also, location-based Reminders can prompt you when arriving or leaving a particular destination, like home or the grocery store for example (see image below).

iOS 5 Reminders

  • Game Center – While the iPad® is a tool for physicians in the office, at home it can be a great source of entertainment. As the world’s most popular gaming platform, the improved Game Center brings more game choices and increased social networking capabilities.

Stay Tuned for iOS 5

The more we test Apple’s® iOS 5, the more impressed we are with its stability and speed enhancements. After the iOS 5 release in the fall, we will again review the new features and enhancements of the operating system, and advise MediTouch® users on the ideal time to upgrade. But if our testing is indicative of what’s to come in the fall, we are confident that iOS 5 will be yet another advancement for Apple® and the MediTouch® software suite.