I continue to be amazed at the attention that the iPad is receiving, both in the mainstream press and in the blogosphere. As the three main focus areas of my consulting practice are eHealth, mobility, and social media, I am tracking iPad discussions quite closely. In the health sector there is active debate as to whether the iPad will a suitable platform for physician practices. Dr. Alan Brookstone explores this topic today in his CanadianEMR blog (http://blog.canadianemr.ca/). He notes that a recent survey by health IT software vendor ePocrates found that 59% of physicians are considering purchase of iPad, with 21% indicated that they will buy one sometime this year.
In related iPad news, two FCC officials have voiced their concerns about the impact of the iPad on mobile network congestion.
The story notes that these officials are concerned that potential network capacity problems “are reminiscent of congestion problems AOL experienced in the 1990s when it decided to allow unlimited Internet use.” The two officials are quoted as saying that “”..wireless network congestion today reveals intense demand for wireless broadband. Widespread use of smartphones, 3G-enabled netbooks, and now, perhaps, the iPad and its competitors demonstrate that wireless broadband will be a hugely important part of the broadband ecosystem as we move ahead.”
I think believe that we will see a renewed and intense interest in “tablet” computing with the debut of the iPad and other similar devices from vendors such as HP (which announced their “slate” computer at CES earlier this year). I think that Apple’s decision to use the iPhone OS instead of MacOS will encourage active development of iPad applications, a key driver for tablet use. The immediate availability of 140,000+ iPhone applications plus near daily announcements by software vendors of plans to release new applications designed specifically for the iPad bode well for widespread iPad adoption.