The last several months have seen us very intensely at work adapting the therapyBOSS clinician app to run on tablets. The clinician app is used by therapists to document patient visits and manage the entire treatment process. Having initially decided to convert the existing app, which already runs great on Windows and Mac computers, we quickly realized that the touch interface of the tablet environment demands a radically different approach. What has proven to be a very friendly user interface in the desktop/laptop environment, did not work as well on tablets when put to the test. Since we simply refuse to deliver anything that’s not outstanding, at least in our judgment, it was back to the drawing board.
We had three main criteria with regards to the user experience: it had to stay highly fluid and responsive, work well on smaller and larger tablets, and have a simple transition from the desktop version of the clinician app. Our clients will ultimately be the judge, but we think they’ll agree no compromises have been made in achieving our design objectives. In fact, we’ve exceeded them by developing an app that not only looks great on tablets but provides the same quality experience on smartphones!
“Why tablets and phones?”, you may ask. There’s little argument they provide a more hassle-free experience. Desktop and laptop computers have their place and purpose, however many tasks that before required one can be accomplished using a tablet or even a smartphone. They are more portable than computers, turn on almost instantly, allow us to navigate using intuitive gestures, experience fewer crashes, and last longer on a single battery charge. Throw in the ever increasing processing power and you’ll understand why these devices seem to be taking over.
The therapyBOSS clinician app is initially being released with support for Android devices. We’re working on the version for iPad and iPhone and are planning to deliver it within two months. In the meantime, if you don’t already have an Android phone or tablet, or own one that’s very old, you have a choice of a number of devices which are absolutely fantastic. We’ve experienced a few of these devices firsthand and will share our thoughts below. One of the things you want to pay attention to when choosing a tablet or a phone is you want to get a quality display with a high number of pixels. What are pixels? Digital images are broken down into pixels or dots. The more dots fit on the screen, the more information will be visible without having to scroll. Higher quality displays feature higher number of pixels across (width) and down (height). The pixels across and pixels down are referred to as the display’s resolution. We recommend a resolution of at least 480 x 800. That’s when holding the device straight up. When turned sideways, the same resolution is expressed as 800 x 480. Practically every tablet and newer smartphones will exceed this resolution so it only becomes a consideration with older devices.
Nexus 7 from Google is one of the dominant 7″ tablets on the market. It’s available for purchase directly from Google here. It’s priced attractively and is one of the most capable devices in its size featuring a great display and a cutting-edge powerful processor. As a Google branded device, it benefits from having the latest updates that come out of Google become available right away.
Nexus 10 is the 10″ tablet from Google. It’s not that we are partial to Google products, but their tablets really do excel from the standpoint of price and performance. Check it out here.
ASUS Transformer TF300 and the newer TF700 are outstanding 10″ tablets. An optional high-quality keyboard is an available accessory. Not only does it give you 92% size keyboard but it also extends battery life by an extra 5 hours.
Even if you don’t go with one of the ASUS tablets and find yourself wanting a keyboard, you’ll find many options for 7″ and 10″ tablets. Here’s an Amazon.com listing for a great little keyboard that would also serve as a protective case for Nexus 7, for example.
There’s one more accessory we will enthusiastically recommend and that’s a stylus. A great one will make it easier to tap around on your tablet and phone. It’ll also keep the display cleaner and let your patients sign in a more natural manner. Having tried different products, the best we’ve found is amPen (TM) New Hybrid Stylus. You can find less expensive styluses, but they are more likely to disappoint.
Not sure about the tablet or phone or even an accessory? Give us a call. We’ll be happy to assist!
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