Doctors have nearly doubled their use of tablets since 2011, a May 10 report by Manhattan Research revealed.
In its annual "Taking the Pulse" study, Manhattan Research found that tablet use by doctors reached 62 percent in 2012, compared with 35 percent of physician tablet adoption in 2011.
"Taking the Pulse" is an annual report that examines the adoption of technology by physicians. Half of the doctors who own tablets are using them at the point of care, according Manhattan Research.
"It's a natural fit to have a mobile device that has a wider capability than just a smartphone," Monique Levy, vice president of research at the company, told eWEEK. "It's just the best of the desktop world and the smartphone world."
In the first quarter of 2011, Manhattan Research interviewed 3,015 U.S. doctors across more than 25 specialties for the study. The company will examine how nurses use mobile devices next, said Levy.
In its 2011 "Taking the Pulse" study, Manhattan Research found that 75 percent of doctors prefer Apple mobile devices over those of competitors, such as Motorola and Samsung. In the 2012 study, 81 percent of tablet owners were using an iPad.
The physician market will likely reach 100 percent penetration of tablets, but the speed of adoption will be more the issue, said Levy. "We really see that as a very clear utility for physicians," she said.
Doctors are using mobile devices to read medical news, research symptoms and access drug reference databases from companies such as Epocrates and WebMD. They're also prescribing medication electronically.
A smaller number of doctors are using the apps to access electronic health records (EHRs) and lab results, Levy noted.
More software innovation will be necessary for these clinical applications to take off on the iPad, according to a Jan. 31 report by Spyglass Consulting Group, called "Point of Care Computing for Physicians 2012."