Why IPads Will Kill Off Hospital Waiting Rooms

Why IPads Will Kill Off Hospital Waiting Rooms

Hospital lines will get a lot shorter, thanks to iPad check-in technology.

NIT Healthcare Technologies, the Orlando, Fla.-based division of a larger Indian company, developed MASH, an iPad platform capable of speeding up hospital check-in by 80 percent.

MASH, an acronym for manage, analyze, sustain, and harness, eliminates paperwork and lets patients electronically check themselves in, speeding up lengthy processing times. A 72-year-old patient test-drove the system, giving it his stamp of approval.

A second version of the program is in the works, featuring fingerprint scanning and a 3-D body imaging system so patients can point out their symptoms while they wait for the doctor.

MASH is just one example mobile technology is revolutionizing health care. Doctors are adopting iPads to explain diagnoses, check records, order tests and generally conduct their rounds more productively. With MASH, patients can use iPads to simplify their time in the hospital as well.

In addition, self-serve prescription kiosks may be on the way, reducing the frequency of doctor’s appointments and easing an overburdened system.

A number of apps already exist on the market for checking health, from blood pressure cuffs that plug into smartphones to a popular instant heart rate app letting users immediately measure their heart rate. An app gauging blood oxygen levels is in the works, demonstrating how mobile technology is moving healthcare away from traditional means of monitoring.

MASH may help hospitals better manage their patient loads and make life easier for patients tired of spending hours waiting and filling out paper work, although it necessitates either patients or hospitals have iPads on hand. As tablet technology becomes a bigger part of daily life, programs like MASH will have an easier time reaching hospitals across the U.S.

These developments may be great news for patients and healthcare professionals, although three-month-old dog-eared copies of Newsweek may feel a bit neglected.

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