Why Windows 8 may be the ideal tablet OS for healthcare

Why Windows 8 may be the ideal tablet OS for healthcare

Summary: Windows 8-based tablets might have a substantial role to play in healthcare.

TOPICS: Windows, Health

Earlier this week, I ran an interview with two healthcare professionals about the iPad mini. In it, they made the case that the iPad mini can be tranformative for healthcare.

As I've come to learn more about Windows 8, I've been thinking that Windows 8-based tablets might also have a very substantial role to play in healthcare. In fact, Windows 8 tablets might, in some cases, be even more appropriate to healthcare than iOS or Android devices.

I love my iPad and iPhone, and my husband really enjoys his Nexus 7, so this isn't about whether I like one environment more than another. What it is about is about security and vertical integration.

Hospital computing (and all healthcare computing for that matter) necessitates security as a top priority. From a defensive perspective, the cost -- from both a legal and PR point of view -- of a major breach (or even a comparatively minor HIPAA or HITECH violation) could be extensive. From a patient care perspective, we want patients to know that their records are being kept as secure as possible.

Windows 8, like Windows 7 before it, integrates beautifully with Windows server technologies. Windows 8 adds additional security features and works smoothly with Exchange, SharePoint, Windows 2008 and Windows 2012 Server. Of particular interest to healthcare professionals, Windows 8 also supports Microsoft Lync secured messaging, so IM messages that go between medical professionals can be both instant and rock-solid secure.

Beyond that, the much-maligned so-called Metro modern UI tiled Start screen interface can offer substantial benefits to medical professionals. Because the tiles are live, they can provide an at-a-glance update into many of the details a medical professional might need to know.

There are some issues I see standing in the way of adoption of Windows 8 in healthcare, but I think we'll see answers in the near-term. The biggest is the cost, weight, and size of Windows 8 tablets. As Dr. Velasco said in the article about how the iPad mini can transform mobile healthcare, the iPad mini can fit in a lab coat pocket. As yet, no Windows 8 tablet can accomplish this feat (although Windows phones can).

Overall, I'm quite enthusiastic about how Windows -- a vertically-integrated ecosystem -- can solve many of the IT problems we face in healthcare, and how this new mobile component could fit right in to that environment with the proper form factor.


Topics: Windows, Health


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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          • You can see the future?

            Yes, that terrible Windows 8 that's been out for slightly more than a month and only managed to sell 40 million tablets, laptops, desktops and upgrades is clearly a "dead duck". You call that a "sales disaster"? How many macs are there being used after all these years its been available? And the Ipad, that's been out since 2010, has its sales are dropping, too, so they're clearly a "sales disaster" too, right?
            Tell me, though, were you born a troll or did you have to practice?
            • Why Windows 8 may be the ideal tablet OS for healthcare

              Just make sure each healthcare worker has two of these things. Because, with 4 to 4.5 hours of device usage for each battery charge, they'll each need two devices to get through the day.
              Rabid Howler Monkey
  • It's all about the software

    A windows 8 tablet may work well in an every medical practice environment, but the leading EHR vendors are very slow to update their software to work with new operating systems, and we don't know if Win 8 will work with our current EHR and Radiology systems. We are just now moving from XP to Windows 7.
    • 2010: "10 Ways Apple's iPad Is Changing Healhcare"

      7/26/10 - "Recently, iMedicalApps published a multi-part story about how iPad is making “the hospital rounds” as a tool for doctors and patients. While medical texts are still in the future, apps for the iPad — often developed by doctors and hospitals — have pushed the iPad into the medical realm. In this list of 10 ways that Apple’s iPad is changing healthcare, you can see that the iPad is used globally for learning and for many doctor-patient (and nurse) interactions and well as by individuals who work in health administration."
      • Source


        2.5 years ago.
        • Guess it's not working out too well considering

          after 2-1/2 years, I have yet to see an ipad in a hopsital.
          William Farrel
          • I Don't Know Where You're Looking At...

            Because the trend is simply outstandingly present.
            I would really start to wonder if I was Microsoft...
        • predictions

          Yes, let's go to an article from 2010 that predicted great thing for the Ipad. I believe that many have also "predicted", year after year after year that Linux will be the desktop of the future. Predictions are not the same as reality; look up the definitions of those two words before you conflate a "prediction" (meaning- 'in the future') and reality (meaning 'right now').
      • Remember in 1986 when Apple was in all the schools?

        Yeah Apple was poised to take over the world then. They had lots of articles in business magazines about how Apple was setting up a foundation that would be impossible to beat. Microsoft was a joke then, until, well, they took over the PC world. Laugh at Windows 8 all you want, by Windows 10 people will remember fondly how cute those iPad were and wonder what ever happened to them.
        A Gray
    • DrJohnnyRay...the answer is simple. If win7 works with those systems....

      Win8 will also. It's basically win7 behind the UI, you realize that, right? Although it's been updated to be faster, even more stable (hard to believe!) and easier to use once you are used to the UI.
      I know this site is filled wtih ABMers but why is everyone making such a big deal about the interface? Google has created almost exactly the same UI in some of it's apps and Apple is started to use tiled interfaces as well. I just saw an iPhone ad last night that showed applications with tiled UIs. Seems to be the future, not the old page of icons you have to thumb and thumb through to find what you need and then it's tedious at best to go between 2 applications.
    • yes they will

      they even have free down loads for windows 8 for your EHR and Radiology systems.look around i did and found a bunch in just few clicks.
  • no way

    android has already won this race!
    that's the power of Foss.
    LlNUX Geek
  • 6 trolls by the usual suspects

    Zchro, Cyberslammmer, and of course gregv2k.

    Linux Geek we allow for the entertainment aspect alone. The others, well fear makes you do silly things, as you can see by their posts.
    William Farrel
    • Do you know what the term "troll" means? Clearly not.

      Try examining some of your own posts for examples.
      • Just like yours.

        just asking. I shouldn't have replied to you just like you did. So we both are trolling.
        Ram U
        • Feel free to point out a SINGLE example of where I have trolled

          Good luck with that.
          From that, and the rest of your comment, it is abundantly clear that you don't have the first clue what the term means. Which is telling, considering how easy it would have been to check before you posted.
          If you HAD bothered to check your understanding of the term, you would have run head frist into this definition:
          "someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.
          Trolling is posting irrelevant nonsense for the sole purpose of riling people up. It is NOT posting with minimal mannars. Almost every post I have ever made on ZDNet is in reply to some piece of errant information, and replies to that post directly. I almost never post first, but are in direct response to someone else's post, and directly reply to the points made. They are therefore, by definition, NOT irrelevant. In addition, I match my tone to the tone of the O.P.. If the O.P. posts in a courteous mannar, they get a similar response. If they post factually incorrect information masquerading as an authoritative response, they get a reply that does not suffer fools gladly. NONE of this is being a troll.

          "just asking."
          Um, no, you never actually asked anything.
          • ^^^ this one?

            and the one rama.net was replying to. or feeding the trolls doesn't count?
  • I hope not

    The tiled start screen annoys the hell out of me. It's just ugly.
    • But it would fit in nicely.....

      ...in pediatric care areas.
      • Interesting you would mention pediatric care areas

        isn't that where the iPad is primarilly used in most hospitals?

        just saying...
        William Farrel