Convertibles: A Hot New Healthcare IT Trend?

As HIMSS13 approaches next week, we conclude our pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts. Below is a guest contribution from Ashley Rodrigue, Healthcare Ambassador at Lenovo, on workflow and point-of-care devices such as tablets and convertibles.

With a variety of different workflows and use cases in healthcare environments, flexible technology ecosystems are essential. To that end, when it comes to point-of-care devices, one of the cardinal rules in effective HIT management is: One Size Does Not Fit All.

Many device manufacturers have responded to this challenge by expanding their portfolios to support a wide range of needs. Over the past few years, we’ve seen new categories of mobile computing emerge and the number of device options increase. As a result, we’ve also seen the number of devices that a person uses per day increase significantly as well.  It’s interesting to compare the differences between devices, but even more interesting perhaps, is to look at the commonalities that could potentially lend themselves to convergence.

Some of the hottest devices for mobility and point-of-care are tablets and Ultrabooks™. The interesting thing about tablets, though, is that the accessories often serve the purpose of making them more like notebooks. Many users require a physical keyboard or a case that can prop the screen up. Similarly, some of the most exciting Ultrabooks have tablet attributes, like touch screens and app based usability.

It is not uncommon for individuals to use and even carry one of each. Therefore, it makes sense that some of the newest and most desired devices are convertibles that provide the best of both in one solution. Windows* 8 Professional Ultrabooks with tablet-like touch screens that twist, flip, bend over backwards, and detach are becoming increasingly popular.

The great thing about this particular type of convergence is that it can result in better outcomes for clinical staff, IT professionals, and healthcare organizations. For clinical professionals, using one device can streamline user experience and provide a nice blend of performance and mobility with a solution that does not limit functionality.

This can result in better workflows, increased efficiency, and better patient experiences at the point-of-care. For IT professionals, these devices introduce far less risk because, even though they have tablet attributes, they can be managed and secured like traditional PCs. For organizations, in addition to the benefits already mentioned, the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with deploying fewer devices is less. For these reasons, it’s no surprise that convertibles are becoming a hot new trend in healthcare environments.

What do you think?