MAC­FOR­MAT IN­VES­TI­GATES

Alex Blake ex­plores how busi­nesses, schools and sports clubs are us­ing the iPad to change the way they work

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

How the iPad is get­ting ahead of the crowd

It’s re­defin­ing how peo­ple an­a­lyse data and im­prove their lives

Most of us know how hugely the iPad has shaped the world. The de­vice that took the tablet world by storm (and gob­bled up 75% of the mar­ket a mere nine months af­ter it launched) is in­stantly recog­nis­able and un­mis­tak­ably Ap­ple. While it’s now suffering much-pub­li­cised de­clin­ing con­sumer sales, the iPad is shak­ing things up away from the glare of the con­sumer spot­light. In hos­pi­tals, class­rooms and sta­di­ums around the globe, it’s re­defin­ing how peo­ple an­a­lyse data and im­prove their lives. It’s the im­pact it’s hav­ing in th­ese places that we’re ex­plor­ing here. So join us as we take a look at the lesser-known ways in which the iPad is chang­ing the world.

Health­care

It’s no se­cret that Ap­ple is go­ing af­ter the health­care mar­ket, and that’s been es­pe­cially ap­par­ent since Tim Cook took the helm. The Ap­ple Watch, with its var­i­ous health sen­sors and well­ness apps, is prob­a­bly the most vis­i­ble em­bod­i­ment of this ob­ses­sion.

But for­get that for a mo­ment. While con­sumers may not see Ap­ple’s health­care side as much as they do the Ap­ple Watch, the iPad is gain­ing in­creas­ing im­por­tance in the world of medicine. Med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als have been us­ing iPads for years to bet­ter aid them in their jobs. And now, Ap­ple is try­ing to get iPads into the hands of not only doc­tors, but also pa­tients. One ex­am­ple is at Cedars-Si­nai hos­pi­tal in Los An­ge­les, where iPads have been dis­trib­uted to a num­ber of pa­tients. This al­lows them to view their pre­scrip­tions and their side ef­fects, con­tact nurses, make notes or even just re­quest read­ing ma­te­rial. Rather than hav­ing to press an on-call but­ton and wait for any nurse to ar­rive, pa­tients can di­rectly mes­sage spe­cific mem­bers of their care team and get a swift re­sponse.

Tablet pre­scrip­tion

Doc­tors have also been able to dis­trib­ute iPads to pa­tients at home, which has had a num­ber of ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects, both on pa­tients and their doc­tors. In the ru­ral Ozarks re­gion of the US, for in­stance, iPads have been given to pa­tients along­side other health­care equip­ment they need, such as blood pres­sure cuffs and scales, as part of the En­gage­ment@ Home pro­gramme. Pa­tients can then use their iPads to learn about ex­er­cises they can do to im­prove their health, and can con­tact a doc­tor when­ever they need to.

So far, around 600 pa­tients have signed up in Mis­souri, one of the main test­ing ar­eas for the pro­gramme. This has led to a 50% de­crease in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions and emer­gency room vis­its among those who’ve en­rolled, and a con­se­quent 30% re­duc­tion in their to­tal cost of care.

In fact, a study in France at Lyon’s Hôpi­tal Femme Mère En­fant found that iPads were as ef­fec­tive as seda­tives – and at times even more

so – at calm­ing chil­dren who were due to un­dergo surgery.

Why is Ap­ple so keen to get in on the health­care mar­ket? Aside from its stated goal of mak­ing health­care ‘more hu­man’, Ap­ple is no doubt keen to con­tinue the ex­cel­lent busi­ness iPads are do­ing in the med­i­cal sec­tor, which is con­trary to de­clin­ing sales fig­ures among con­sumers. “We now have hun­dreds of iPads for pa­tients to use,” says Cedars-Si­nai doc­tor Shaun Miller. “As we ex­pand to more wards, it’ll be thou­sands.” That’s due, in part, to the in­her­ent pri­vacy and safety of iOS.

Steve Jobs fa­mously hated the med­i­cal tech­nol­ogy that sur­rounded him dur­ing his bat­tle with pan­cre­atic cancer, and even sketched out ideas for im­prov­ing the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence. Th­ese days, Ap­ple is just pick­ing up where he left off.

Ed­u­ca­tion

Ap­ple has al­ways had a hand in ed­u­ca­tion – in fact, that’s what helped it get to where it is to­day. In the early 1980s, the com­pany helped pass leg­is­la­tion that granted tax breaks to firms that gave com­put­ers to schools; Ap­ple sub­se­quently do­nated a free Ap­ple IIe to 9,000 schools in Cal­i­for­nia un­der its Kids Can’t Wait pro­gramme. It also gave in­cen­tives to its lo­cal deal­ers to help train and guide school per­son­nel. Even the very first Ap­ple I ever pro­duced was used in a maths class at Wind­sor Ju­nior High School in Cal­i­for­nia.

This trend con­tin­ued with the launch of the orig­i­nal iPad. It was an in­stant hit with schools – it was easy to use, lighter than car­ry­ing a load of books ev­ery­where, and had ‘star power’ with kids. “I think this could very well be the big­gest thing to hit school tech­nol­ogy since the over­head pro­jec­tor,” said Scott Wolfe, prin­ci­pal of South Moun­tain El­e­men­tary School in New Jer­sey, in 2011.

Like the Ap­ple IIe be­fore it, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of iPads in schools was aided by US leg­is­la­tion, such as the Race to the Top ini­tia­tive, which helped knock $300 to $400

off the price of an iPad for US schools. Ap­ple’s com­mit­ment to get­ting its prod­ucts into schools wasn’t en­tirely al­tru­is­tic – Steve Jobs was cre­at­ing a gen­er­a­tion of Ap­ple users, af­ter all – but it helped ce­ment the idea that Ap­ple de­vices are good for ed­u­ca­tion.

A dif­fer­ent class

Since then, though, Ap­ple’s ri­vals have caught up and sur­passed it in the class­room, with Google’s cheap Chrome­books and Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face line far out­strip­ping Ap­ple. In the years 2014 to 2016, its share in US class­rooms al­most halved, from 26% to 14%. In the rest of the world it held steady, but cur­rently has a

Tablet com­put­ers are pop­u­lar in the class­room as they’re easy for kids to use and have a large, bright dis­play.

share of less than 10%. And that’s where the new­est iPad comes in. Start­ing at £339 (and even less for schools thanks to Ap­ple’s ed­u­ca­tional dis­count), it’s around half the price of the orig­i­nal iPad; even with­out state aid, it’s a much more af­ford­able pur­chase for schools. With so much com­pe­ti­tion from Google, Mi­crosoft and oth­ers in terms of price, it seems that Ap­ple still wants to be the num­ber one de­vice in the class­room.

Back in the 1980s, Ap­ple pushed to get chil­dren learn­ing the Logo pro­gram­ming lan­guage in schools. Th­ese days, it’s do­ing the same with its own cod­ing lan­guage, Swift. The main way it’s do­ing that is with Swift Play­grounds, an app that teaches chil­dren how to cre­ate games and get to grips with the ba­sics of the lan­guage. It also gives out free iPads to what it deems to be the most needy US schools, where at least 97% of pupils are on free or re­duced lunch pro­grammes, and sends staff to help teach­ers with its de­vices.

It may have lost ground in re­cent years, but Ap­ple is keen to dom­i­nate ed­u­ca­tion once more, and the iPad is lead­ing the charge.

Sport

The same qual­i­ties that make the iPad an ex­cel­lent de­vice for ed­u­ca­tion – a quick, easy in­ter­face and a large dis­play – are also well-suited to sport. Data com­pa­nies like Opta and ProZone pro­vide in-depth anal­y­sis to

Ap­ple’s ri­vals have caught up and sur­passed it in the class­room

Ap­ple will pro­vide 12.9‑inch iPad Pros to every MLB team

pro­fes­sional sports teams dur­ing games, cover­ing every­thing from passes com­pleted to dis­tances run. Key in­for­ma­tion can be viewed on the touch­line by the man­ager and key coach­ing staff. That means that in­stead of sim­ply view­ing the game and bas­ing de­ci­sions on in­tu­ition or rough es­ti­mates, sports teams can al­ter their tac­tics on the go based on real-time sta­tis­tics. It’s a much more in­formed way to man­age a game plan.

But iPads aren’t just used dur­ing live matches; the same ben­e­fits they bring to games can also be used in train­ing to im­prove play­ers’ tech­nique. For in­stance, at an ice hockey train­ing camp in Mis­sis­sauga, Canada, young play­ers are as­sessed and de­vel­oped with the help of iPads and Ap­ple Watches. Says coach Adrian Lomonaco: “For me, the iPad is like my stick and glove used to be. We used to do [train­ing and coach­ing] based on feel, but now you can phys­i­cally see what each ath­lete is do­ing.”

And at UK foot­ball club Bris­tol City, it’s more than that. The club uses iPads not only to an­a­lyse play­ers’ per­for­mances in de­tail, but also to send mes­sages to in­di­vid­ual play­ers, dis­trib­ute tac­ti­cal plans and set up sched­ules. “It’s a por­tal, or a hub, for all things Bris­tol City,” ex­plains club man­ager Lee John­son. “The un­der-23s can look at what the se­nior ses­sions are, so when they step up they’re com­fort­able with the ten-bulk ses­sions we use on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Scor­ing a home run

Over in the US, iPads are big busi­ness in sport. Ma­jor League Base­ball (MLB) re­cently penned a deal with Ap­ple wherein the Cu­per­tino giant will pro­vide 12.9-inch iPad Pros to every team to aid their data anal­y­sis ef­forts. While some teams were in­dif­fer­ent to the stats-gath­er­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the iPad (they had been us­ing ring binders full of sta­tis­tics for years), the real game-changer was video. Hav­ing video ev­i­dence to back up sta­tis­tics turned out to be a pow­er­ful way for coaches to not only make in­formed de­ci­sions, but also for them to con­vince play­ers they’re right, and to show them how to im­prove.

The iPad has an­other ad­van­tage: it’s se­cure. It has to be, of course – los­ing an iPad could mean los­ing in­for­ma­tion about every as­pect of the club for the en­tire sea­son. To min­imise the dam­age from miss­ing de­vices and leaked in­for­ma­tion, the iPads used by the MLB can’t ac­cess the in­ter­net or take photos.

Get­ting a wealth of in­for­ma­tion at your fingertips in a se­cure, leak-proof way could mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween vic­tory and de­feat – some­thing sports teams around the world are coming to re­alise.

For our lat­est sub­scrip­tion of­fer see page 42!

In Mis­souri, pa­tients are be­ing given iPads as part of their health­care plan.

The new iPad is much cheaper, and it costs even less for schools.

iPads are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar in sport where real-time data can aid de­ci­sion-mak­ing on the go.

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