Doctors interested in Apple's iPad; 1 in 5 plan to buy one

According to one medical software vendor, physicians are already warming up to Apple’s coming tablet, the iPad, with 22 percent of clinicians in a survey saying they plan to purchase the device within a year.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Epocrates Inc. surveyed 350 clinicians a few days after Apple announced the iPad. The company claims more than 275,000 physicians subscribe to its free or paid software, which provides access to clinical information from smartphones like the iPhone, Blackberries and Palm devices.

The medical software provider also announced that its clinical reference application for the iPhone and iPod touch devices will be customized for the new iPad.

“By optimizing our software for the iPad, we are capitalizing on the larger screen real estate and interactivity provided by this sophisticated device,” Rose Crane, CEO of Epocrates said in a statement. “We are continuing to explore the advanced capabilities of the iPad and ways it can help Epocrates address the evolving health care technology needs.”

Epocrates' survey showed that 9 percent of respondents plan to buy an iPad as soon as it's available, and another 13 percent plan to buy it within a year. An additional 39 percent expressed interest in the iPad, but said they wanted more information before making a decision.

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