European readers who visit with their doctors have a good chance of seeing an iPad in use during their appointments. According to a new survey of physicians, 26 percent of 1,207 practicing physicians in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK said that they own an iPad and spend 27 percent of their work online time using the iPad.
Manhattan Research carried out the Taking the Pulse Europe study in the fourth quarter of 2011, and found that 40 percent of doctors surveyed plan to purchase an iPad within the next six months. The adoption rate of iPad usage is the same for primary care physicians (general practitioners and doctors of internal and family medicine) and specialists (ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, etc...).
What are all of these doctors using their iPads for? The survey showed that they're using them primarily to browse medical articles on the web, watch videos, and look up information. The European doctors are also showing a lot of interest in "using iPads to manage and educate their patients."
An article in pharmaceutical blog PMLiVe noted that some large companies like AstraZeneca, Jannsen, and Vertex have created iPad-specific apps targeting healthcare professionals, but that Pfizer had to pull an iPhone app last autumn when errors were found in its Rheumatology Calculator. The situation brought up the question of whether or not pharmaceutical apps should be considered as medical devices, which could slow down the development of new and useful apps in the future.