The Macs (Apple Macintosh) and most of what has come out from the Apple Factory of Kick Ass Design have been an inspiration to Product Designers and Solution Architects. That inspiration alone has helped todays Software products get Richer in User Experience
In the Health Care industry though, EMR’s, Practice Management Software’s and other Clinical Productivity Tools are primarily built for the ubiquitously available Windows platforms. A huge number are also available for linux, most of these Open Source, and a very small number for the Macs.
In the United States, where the EMR business is filled in with over 300 major vendors, there are apparently only 8 offering EMR’s which are natively built for the Mac. Read this report by Houston from Software Advice to see these 8 vendors and a fantastic comparison of their features.
Very few vendors actually support the Mac, although a number of them do keep posting news and press releases that they are making one or launching one soon.
This may be a reason why many doctors over the years would want a Mac, but would’nt get one due to the lack of Medical Softwares for it.
In the interest of the majority of doctors reading this, lets ask the questions: “What does one mean when they say that their EMR is natively supported on a Mac? What exactly does it take for an EMR to be supported on a Mac ? What is this native thing I’m talking about”
For an EMR to be natively supported on a Mac, it must be able to be used by a Mac User while the program is running ON the Mac. The program’s code must be understood by the Mac –> The program’s code must speak the Mac’s language and follow the Mac’s set of rules. Windows has its own set of rules and they are different from a Mac. So a program made for Windows unfortunately may not run on a Mac.
The Mac and the Windows are inherently different, and a software program built for one may not run on the other as the other operating system might not understand what the program is trying to say/do
For an EMR to natively run on a Mac, its underlying code must be understood by the Mac, and it must be following the rules of the Mac.Smart question asked by Dr Vivek Patkar when I was explaining this above concept to him: Nrip, does this mean that if I have a software made for the Mac, and I can make Windows understand it, then it will run on Windows.
This is true and is the underlying reason why the virtualization industry is a boon and is bomming. A Virtual Machine is a type of software used to create a Virtual Environment, which is referred to as Virtualization. Virtualization may be used to run multiple operating systems at the same time on one Physical Machine. Through the help of a virtual machine, the user can operate software built for one Platform (Or Operating System) on another.
This brings us to a Grand Realization. A SOFTWARE NEED NOT BE NATIVELY SUPPORTED ON A PLATFORM TO BE USED BY IT ANY MORE, AS LONG AS YOU CAN USE A VIRTUAL MACHINE WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO USE IT ON THE INCOMPATIBLE PLATFORM.
Here is a link to 2 fantastic Virtual Machines for the interested. As always, feel free to drop me a line at n.nihalani AT plus91.in for any help.
In recent times, whether it is due to Apple’s advertising or the Word of Mouth spread that works with Doctors, a Number of Indian Doctors have told us that they are buying a Mac; and if the Clinkare EMR would be supported on it. Yes of Course! Both the desktop version and the SaaS version are supported on the Macs.
Talking of Saas, this category of SaaS and Web Based EMR’s is exciting. THEY ARE USUALLY PLATFORM INDEPENDENT, UNLESS THERE IS A PC COMPONENT WHICH REQUIRES NATIVE SUPPORT: LIKE A SCREENSHOT PLUGIN, OR A VOIP COMPONENT, OR A DICTATION COMPONENT;
In this article on MAC EMR Software, Houston from Software Advice states “Web-based EMRs are the best long-term investment for doctors using Macs. Unlike their on-premise counterparts, vendors offering web-based software won’t have to support two versions of their software (i.e. one for Windows, one for Mac) in the long run ”
One can’t agree more. Every Web Based EMR vendor, knows that their EMR can be used using a Windows , a Mac, a Ubuntu; Users can even use the EMR’s on Tablet PC’s as well as Low Cost Netbooks.
There has been a surge in the adoption of the iPads in many health care institutions(pictures below), here in India, and as reported in the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore. iPads with their form factor well suited for use by On Round Doctors in In-Patient Wards, Nurses while taking down Vitals in Charts and even Assistants in OT’s for Managing Checklists are a hit.
|LabC: Pathology EMR on the iPad|
|Dr Bhosale trying the Clinkare EMR on her iPad|
With Virtualization being available and Web Based EMR’s being the popular flavor with vendors, there are now choices available to Physicians and Clinics for Medical Software which can be used with their Mac’s.
If you are in the United States, you may want to use this comparison to help you select the Web based EMR which works best for you
If in India, you really should give the Clinkare Physician EMR a try ...