I will be in Boston tomorrow speaking at the iMedicine and Mobile Life Sciences World Summit and I expect the recently released report from Manhattan Research on physicians use of mobile technology to be a source of conversation.

The report confirms what most anyone working with physicians observes on a regular basis… that iPad is the dominant tablet platform with 62% of physicians claiming to use one for professional purposes. What’s a little surprising is the rate of adoption — use has nearly doubled since just 2011.

“Physicians are evolving in ways we expected — only faster,” said Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan Research. “The skyrocketing adoption rates of tablets alone, especially iPads, means healthcare stakeholders should revisit many of their assumptions about reaching and engaging with this audience.”

Other points from the survey that really shouldn’t surprise anyone: over 85% of physicians use a smartphone, and growth of physician use of social networks is not only flat, but limited in scope.

While there remain impediments to more widespread adoption of tablets in the clinical care environment, tablets are clearly becoming the preferred method of content consumption. Even in the early stages, Cureus users are notably reading journal papers on tablets as much as the desktop/laptop. When taking into account that initial introduction and sign up on Cureus is mostly taking place on a desktop/laptop, the fact that papers are being read on the tablet means users are switching platforms when they get into reading mode.

Cureus has leveraged two technologies to help ensure the site translates equally well on all platforms. First, we use Scribd in the background to render our papers using their patent-pending document conversion tool. The Scribd technology configures a paper into proper dimensions whether viewing on a large monitor or an iPhone. Second, we use Twitter Bootstrap to manage our user interface which means the site design is more easily managed and modified for multiple platform environments.

Over the coming months we’ll report on more specific trends, but just as Amazon Kindle has shifted the entire book, magazine and newspaper reading industry, we expect tablets to be a primary vehicle for medical journal consumption.

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