Dell Inc wants to put its new tablet into the lab coats of doctors, as it aims to broaden the appeal of the device beyond consumers and tie it more closely to the company's software. Dell on Tuesday said it is integrating the new Streak tablet with its established healthcare software, enabling doctors to access patient information and electronic medical records as they go about their daily work. Dell launched the 5-inch, touchscreen device last month. It runs on Google's Android software and doubles as a smartphone. The Streak costs $549.99, or $299.99 with a 2-year contract from AT&T. The company said it hopes to get doctors up and testing the device this fall.
The Streak is one of a slew of tablets that have or will hit the market this year, following the runaway success of Apple's iPad. Tablets have primarily been aimed at consumers, although more business-focused devices are on the way. The healthcare market is a major focus for Dell. The company last year spent $3.9 billion to buy technology services provider Perot Systems, which has a strong base with healthcare customers and serves most of the hospitals and hospital systems in the United States. Dell said the Streak can help extend a hospital's information network, allowing for secure and fast access to patient data. “When we designed the device we thought about what a clinician might like, it's perfect size to fit into a lab coat, and allows you to be able to communicate anywhere,” said Jamie Coffin, vice president of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences. He said Apple's iPhone is too small for a doctor to use with patients, while the iPad does not have enough functionality.
The Streak will offer access to Dell's mobile clinical computing platform via an app, tapping into patient information stored in datacenters, rather than on the device itself. The Streak has two cameras, to let doctors record images and upload them to patients’ electronic records and track their progress.