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12 Ways iPads Are Changing Hospital Marketing and PR

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Stanford Hospital Patient and iPad Entertainment

At its unveiling in April 2010, Apple predicted that the use of the iPad by medical professionals would change the face of healthcare, ultimately providing multiple ways to promote hospital marketing and public relations.

The latest count by Apple shows over 25 million tablets have been sold (first 14 months); more than 15 million iPad 2's have been sold since March 2011; and the device is expected to take 83 percent of the Tablet market in the US this year.

With the continuing meteoric rise of the iPad, we have to ask how such a small device—less than 9.50” x 7.31” x 0.34”–has created such a big impact? For one thing, doctors like them; the iPad is widely used by physicians and healthcare providers.

The iPad is a healthcare marketing workhorse

Here’s a list of possible ways to use an iPad for hospital marketing and hospital public relations purposes:

1. Use an iPad for "chairside" presentations of healthcare information and patient education in hospital rooms and examination rooms.

2. Similar to the item above, put an iPad in the hands of physician liaison or practice representative for quick engagement, instant presentations and mobile CRM recordkeeping. (Also saves money on printed materials.)

3. Provide an iPad—instead of a paper form—to patients to complete a satisfaction survey or any visitor survey. (Sorry, they don't get to keep the iPad, but it makes a cutting-edge statement and saves paper.)

4. Use an iPad during a crisis for video connectivity, picture taking and remote reporting, assuming the crisis doesn't black out your wireless connectivity.

5. Provide iPads for Facetime connections (with everyone's permission, of course) between a new mother and long-distance family/relatives in the waiting room to see their family’s newborn, or between any recovering patient and friends in the outside world. (We think Facetime has a lot of potential, for these and other applications.)

6. Use an iPad video to record a physician profile for your group with your publicist capturing a statement or notes. Add a quick video statement by your hospital’s medical director and attach the video file with a news release or post it on YouTube.

7. Use an iPad video to capture a patient/family testimonial statement on the spot, though you’ll still need a signed release/permission statement.

8. Put an iPad in every patient room to enable them to keep in touch with the outside world while they’re waiting for the doctor or recovering from surgery. (Again, convenience, connectivity, entertainment and brand statement, but not a gift.) Stanford Hospital is one example.

9. Arm hospital volunteers with iPads so they can carry a virtual library of ebooks to read to children.

10. Let pediatric unit patients watch movies or TV programs with iPads while in the hospital rooms.

11. Use iPads during hospital rounds to show interns the latest news about the diseases they’re learning about.

12. Anywhere iPads can be a real-time substitute for printed paper is a budget-saver. Brochures, patient literature and instructions; these can be seen on the screen, and instantly sent by email if appropriate.

How iPads Are Being Used By One Medical Products Company

US-based medical technology company, Medtronics puts iPads in the hands of thousands of employees as an ideal platform to present and explain its technologies to health care professionals, individual patients and patient advocacy groups.

To date, Medtronics has created 15 in-house iPad apps to let their sales reps access proprietary information, improve efficiency and enhance customer engagement. The apps, which are distributed through the Medtronic App Store via a password-protected website, the company control access to qualified staff and easily provide app updates.

“iPad lets us get information to our customers much quicker than we could before,” says Michael Hedges, Medtronic’s Chief Information Officer. “On iPad, the information is delivered in a way that encourages people to use it. The iPad is a game-changer in health care.”

How are you using the iPad (or any other tablet)?

If you have a clever or original idea of how to use an iPad to promote your hospital marketing or hospital public relations, we’d like to hear about it.

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