The iPad® has not only been a consumer technology phenomenon, it is the best form factor for documenting a patient encounter with an EHR/EMR. Apple® has sold 100 million iPads in the past 2+ years, and the iPad is responsible for most of the Internet traffic spawned from mobile tablets. The MediTouch EHR® Web application was designed from the “ground up” for the iPad and every day we experience thousands of logins from iPad devices. Even though Apple’s last iOS release (iOS6) was flawed, prompting an apology from the CEO, it is still the best tablet for Web applications on the market today. Steve Jobs once commented that a smaller form factor than the original 11.9 inch screen in the “large” iPad would not be appealing to consumers. Well the rumor is that before his untimely death he changed his mind. Either way, his successors have come to the realization that a smaller form factor that fits between the iPhone and the traditional iPad is required to compete with hardware manufactured by Apple’s arch rivals: Google®, Samsung®, and Amazon®. Hence, today, we have been “blessed” with a new kind of iPad — the iPad Mini.
Why a mini iPad? Well even though the larger iPad is much easier to carry around than a laptop, it still requires 2 hands, and entering text on an iPad usually requires that the user sit and lean the iPad against a table or perhaps a folded leg. In addition, if you try to hold it for long periods at a time it can feel too heavy. Then there’s the issue of carrying the iPad, it is hard to fit into a purse and fits in no pocket designed for a man. It’s hard to believe we can find so many flaws in a product many of us have grown to love.
The iPad Mini now solves most of these issues, but not all. It still won’t fit into the breast pocket of a man’s suit, but it fits wonderfully in the side pocket of my “white coat”. When you get your hands on a Mini the first reaction will undoubtedly be related to its weight. It feels like a feather when compared to its larger sibling. The iPad Mini weighs just less than 11 ounces, and is only 0.28 inch thick; it is 53% lighter and 23% thinner than the standard iPad.
The Mini is easy to hold with one hand, and typing in landscape mode, for all but the smallest hands, is by far my favorite keyboarding experience on any mobile device. If you want to chart while standing and you can type quickly with your thumbs, then the iPad Mini may be your next iOS device.
The MediTouch Web application works the same on the Mini as it does on the traditional iPad. The screens move quickly, and the text is still large enough to see if you are not far-sighted. If you wear reading glasses to use the larger iPad or if you are under the age of 45, then the Mini will display MediTouch EHR text large enough to read. If you are over 45 and you are beginning to struggle with seeing the text on small devices like the iPhone, then stick with the standard iPad.
Apple’s sleek presentation of the Safari® Browser is efficient and maximizes the viewing experience, especially when compared to its Android® counterpart. Note: The amount of useable area on the iPad Mini when compared to the latest Android tablet during Apple’s iPad Mini keynote event.
iPad Mini has the same or better fit and finish as the larger iPad; it feels solid, especially for such a light and thin device. If you like to use the Safari browser’s dictation feature for charting, your experience should be improved since the latest iOS devices (iPhone 5, the recently released 4th generation standard iPad, and the Mini) all process dictation faster and more accurately than their predecessors. In addition, the iPad Mini’s battery is dependable and should last about 11 hours, surpassing its closest competition by a few hours; pretty impressive engineering given its size and weight.
iPad Mini Bottom Line:
- Stand and chart in the exam room — a real time saver
- Make sure you have good near vision or wear glasses
- Fits great in your white coat
- Works great with MediTouch EHR, and runs all of your favorite Apps