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Morning Read: Hospitals look to rollout iPads

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare: Hospitals look to rollout iPads: Though various individual doctors have reported about using the iPad during hospital rounds or ER work, talk of hospitals issuing the devices to on-staff doctors (or encouraging doctors to buy their own) has been more rare. But that […]

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare:

Hospitals look to rollout iPads: Though various individual doctors have reported about using the iPad during hospital rounds or ER work, talk of hospitals issuing the devices to on-staff doctors (or encouraging doctors to buy their own) has been more rare. But that could change soon. Some hospital chief medical information officers are studying how iPads could fit into physicians’ work flow.

“We tried to roll out tablets in the ER before and they were a miserable failure,” said the CMIO at Tampa General. “They were unwieldy, heavy and the battery life was awful. The iPad solves those problems.” He added: “Once iPads come into play, I have a vision for them being widely deployed throughout the hospital.” Sounds like still more 0’s at the end of Steve Jobs’ paycheck.

It’s tough being the FDA: Critics are asking whether the FDA dropped the ball in the wake of Pfizer withdrawing its blood cancer drug Mylotarg after 10 years on the U.S. market. But the In the Pipeline blog jumps to the agency’s defense, arguing it’s extremely difficult to balance the agency’s mission of keeping Americans safe from faulty products while not clamping down on the drug industry so hard as to keep drugs that could help Americans off the market.

A slightly less-happy Happy Meal: A consumer group has threatened to sue McDonald’s if it doesn’t stop marketing its food to children with toys, like those found in Happy Meals. “Because most of the company’s options (for young children and others) are of poor nutritional quality, eating Happy Meals promotes eating habits that are virtually assured to undermine children’s health,” the group says.

New Lilly drug fails to impress: Eli Lilly is launching a new statin drug, but at least one analyst was less than impressed with the offering, figuring the new drug (Livalo) faces plenty of competition already on the market. “I think it’s going to take a lot of work to interest physicians in a new statin,” the analyst said. “It’s going to have to work much better, or be much cheaper, or have fewer side effects than anything else on the market.”

About those rising health costs: Writing at MedPage Today, one doctor lists the eight reasons why he believes health costs continue to rise. Insurance companies–everyone’s favorite object of wrath–will be happy they don’t show up until No. 6. But the doctor’s No. 1 reason–patients with insurance who treat medical care as a “freebie”–seems a bit misguided in an era of rising copays and deductibles.

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Photo from flickr user Yutaka Tsutano