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Over one quarter of European doctors use an iPad at work

Data from a new study has shown that 26 percent of European doctors own an iPad and spend over a quarter of their professional time using the device, with another 40 percent say they plan to buy an iPad within six months.

The study conducted by Manhattan Research in the fourth quarter of 2011 surveyed 1,207 physicians in the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Italy to quantify the time doctors spend online while at work, as well as a breakdown of which internet-capable device is used most, reports pharmaceutical industry blog PMLiVE.

In total, iPad-toting doctors used the device for 27 percent of professional internet use, while traditional computers like desktops and laptops accounted for 55 percent and smartphones rounded out the field with 18 percent.

“We discovered that iPad-owning physicians spend an impressive 27 per cent of their professional online time on the device, likely replacing desktop time and probably some offline media time too," said Manhattan Research principal analyst Christina Anthogalidis. “Use of these devices at the point-of-care to educate patients and manage records is also promising at this stage.”

While doctors used their iPads primarily for online referencing, reading online medical journals and watching videos, some are leveraging their iPads to manage and educate their patients.

The Taking the Pulse Europe study found that iPad ownership was highest in the U.K. with 31 percent, followed by a Germany and France tie at 28 percent and Italy and Spain with 21 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Of those doctors who did not yet have the Apple tablet, 40 percent said they expected to buy one within six months.

The iPad-as-medical-tool argument has been picking up steam as of late, and an increasing amount of physicians are using apps designed by companies in the healthcare industry to perform a number of procedures including pharmaceutical calculations, radiology diagnoses and general referencing. Pharmaceutical firms like AstraZeneca, Janssen and Vertex already have iPad-compatible apps that enable medical professionals to transform the device into a portable diagnosis and calculation tool.

Psoriasis app by Janssen. | Source: Creative Lynx, Ltd.

In early 2011, a radiology iOS app was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to give mobile diagnoses.

Most recently, AppleInsider reported on the possible benefits a Retina Display-sporting next generation iPad could bring to the medical field.