GE Healthcare pushing its EMR onto iPad

Anxious to ride the iPad wave, GE Healthcare demoed two new iPad versions of its primary health software, Centricity Advance and Centricity Practice Solution, at HIMSS11 in Orlando last week. The applications already are available for use on smartphones and other mobile devices, but company statements indicate the iPad may actually be better suited to the software, given its ability to flick quickly through multiple pages of documents, and zooming in on certain parts of the screen.

The two products provide clinicians with Internet access to histories and physical examinations, medication and problem lists, allergies, and even to receive urgent patient questions through messaging.

It's unclear exactly when the iPad versions will be on the market, although GE officials insist it will be sometime this year. And they'd better move fast. If you recall, research in November determined that the healthcare sector was the third-fastest adopter of iPad technology.

We'll keep watching to see if GE tries to extend the software to the BlackBerry Playbook, which just debuted its own medical reference design a few weeks ago. But it may happen sooner than later: The company indicates that it's pushing hard to penetrate the mobile market and get all its products into web- and mobile-enabled forms.

In a related story, GE also just partnered with the CDC to test a public health alert system that would cull through electronic medical records for evidence of possible public health threats, such as foodborne illness. No word yet on whether the alerts generated by the system will be transmitted to physicians' smartphones or other mobile devices, but if history is any judge, we're betting they will be.

For more information:
- here's GE's announcement
- read this MassDevice post