How much do I like my iPad? At this point, I can’t imagine working and living without it. My original intent was to see if it could be used in our veterinary practice. Since then, I have learned that it is one of those products created by Apple that you don’t realize how much you need it until you use it. Remember the iPod? Who would have thought that it would be so popular?
What can I do with my iPad that I couldn’t do before? Well, I can access x-rays from our server to show clients while at their farm. I can educate clients with how-to sections from our web site while on the road. It is always on so there is no need to wait for my laptop to wake up. There is no excuse not to write letters or discharge statements when I have a few moments of down time. While my technician is driving I can read and answer emails and most importantly I can invoice wherever I am. To be honest invoicing is a bit awkward but I am sure within 6 months or so it will be much easier. In other words I am much more efficient with it.
The biggest surprise from my iPad is how fun it is for personal use. From reading Kindle books to the New York Times app to an excellent GPS application I am finding new uses for it daily. As an aside I find the gps app more accurate than my Garmin unit. Sorry Garmin. The battery life is 10 hours! On a recent 5-hour flight I was able to watch 2 movies and I still had 5 hours of battery life left. This is the magic of the iPad. It combines so many different products into one.
There has to be some downsides right? I wish it had a camera. There is not a lot of memory so you will need to keep documents on an external server or the cloud. There will probably be a new version of the iPad in January 2011 that will have more features than the one I am currently using. Uhm… I spend too much time on it? Seriously, there are very few down sides. If you decide to buy one get the version with 3G/Wi-Fi, which allows you to have Internet access when you don’t have wifi available.
With regards to using it in your vet practice, it has some attractive features but the main drawback is that it is awkward to use with windows based practice software. This will get better in time, and when that happens I have all of our vets use the iPad. It is half the price of a laptop, it is very portable, and it is so useful for communicating with and educating clients. It is not a replacement for a laptop or desktop but it is pretty close to it.
Is anyone else using an iPad in their vet practice? Share your thoughts if you do.