This article was last updated in November 2017 to include a tablet recommendation for Ocean Connect.
There are dozens of Android tablets available these days, giving you a lot of options for form factor, battery life, screen resolution, and price. We see this as a benefit; however, we realize all those choices can be overwhelming.
When choosing a tablet for patient use on Ocean, there are a few things to consider. First, Ocean Tablets need to run on Android 5.0 or higher (i.e. any current generation Android tablet). For the sake of accessibility, we also typically recommend screen sizes of 9″ or more; however, we do have clinics using high resolution 8″ tablets as well. Finally, clinics that plan to use an Ocean Kiosk for patient check-in (with a health card swipe reader) are limited to one supported tablet – the Samsung Galaxy E 9.6.” Other than that, it’s really personal preference.
When considering tablets to use with Ocean Connect (administrative use only, no patient use), the screen size is not a factor. As a result, we recommend selecting a smaller, less expensive tablet. A good option is the Acer Iconia One running Android 7.0.
It’s worth noting that there are a number of “budget” tablets available from brands like Neutab and Hipstreet. Unfortunately, we’ve heard a growing number of complaints about these lower-end models ranging from wifi issues to screen issues.
If you’re looking for a brand that we recommend, both Samsung Tabs and Asus Transformers (my personal favourite) consistently perform well, are very reliable and have very nice screens.They also almost never die unless they get dropped. However, they are more expensive than some other Android options on the market. We’ve heard clients say that Lenovo Yoga tablets have a great battery life, have a reasonable price and seem to be reliable, but we have not tested them in the office here.
You don’t need a keyboard and getting a cheap protector case is a good idea to make it easier to grip and more likely to survive a drop to your waiting room floor. If you want to learn about tablet security, check out blog posts on the subject:
The one manufacturer you should definitely avoid is Azpen, a budget tablet maker. These tablets cycle through a pool of “mac addresses”, which are supposed to be unique, permanent hardware identifiers used for networking. These may cause much grief for your networking team since they may configure their firewall using mac addresses.
What tablets is your clinic using and what do you think of them? Let us know and we’ll keep this updated!