Have you noticed the common thread in science fiction films and TV shows in the last 50 years? At some point the captain of the ship, the leader of the resistance, or the evil emperor of the galaxy will walk through their base of command with a small rectangular piece of plastic in their hand using it to control nearly everything they touch. Whether they are sending communication across worlds, viewing exhaust ports that might fit a proton torpedo, or just simply playing cosmic Tetris, it seems the tablet is the way of the future.
So how can you make the science fiction science fact in your orthodontic practice? The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what you want to DO with your high-tech piece of hardware.
If you are in the camp that likes to simply have the technology to do one or two things, you might want to consider a simple tablet. Something like an iPad or an Android tablet in your office can give your staff and patients easy access to things like your Online Forms health history submission. You can also view anything with a mobile site for on-the-go access to patient info via something like Edge Portal.
If you are looking for a little more power and capability you might want to consider one of the new Windows 8 tablets. You might be tempted to look at some tablets running Windows RT. Stay away from these under-powered slabs. They are great, but commanding the office with one of these would be futile. Look for Windows 8 Pro and your prime directive will be achieved.
With a Windows 8 Pro tablet you can act like your favorite commander and run the whole ship right from your hand by simply taking it chair to chair. And if your arm gets tired, return to your quarters, plug it into a second monitor, and you will have the full power of your regular console at your fingertips.
So whether you rule your practice with an iron fist like the Emperor, assimilate your patients into your toothy Borg, or you have just recently terraformed your new location, tablets just might be the key to galactic dominance… well maybe not, but you just might find yourself having a more efficient practice.
Jess is the Systems Consultant for the Great Lakes and Southwestern Societies of Orthodontists, as well as Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. When he isn’t working at Ortho2 he can be found snapping photos or daydreaming about the T.A.R.D.I.S. landing in his back yard.