Desktop vs Tablet Electronic Dental Records

For decades, Windows has been the dominant desktop operating system in the world. Other operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS appealed to niche segments such as software developers or graphic artists but the average user was most familiar with Windows. With the majority of computers in the healthcare industry running Windows, most EDR software was developed for that platform first.

Desktop-based EDRs enjoyed several advantages. Developers did not have to worry about compatibility with other OSes, as they could be fairly certain their clients were running Windows on their desktops. Most of the navigation and GUI was already familiar to users, so training time could be significantly reduced. This in turn encouraged vendors to include more complex features. Unfortunately, they also tended to neglect design principles in the process. Desktop EDRs were often cumbersome and users were forced to return to their computer if they wanted to enter/view patient information.

With the advent of mobile phones and tablets, the use of iOS and Android devices in healthcare started to increase. Many dentists embraced the new paradigm of mobility which allowed them to view and input data on the go. Accordingly, quite a few vendors started developing EDR applications specifically for mobile operating systems. The restrictions imposed by portable equipment with limited screen real estate forced developers to improve their app design and streamline navigation.

However tablet EDRs also had several weaknesses. Some apps worked only on tablets/mobiles and users found themselves unable to work even if they were sitting in front of a computer. Several EDR providers tried to maintain both desktop and tablet apps but this lead to significantly increased development time and expenses. Sometimes, new features would not work across all platforms and the tablet apps were often less capable than their desktop counterparts.

The flaws inherent in both these approaches prompted some companies to develop EDR systems that lived in the cloud and are accessible from anywhere. Cloud EDRs such as Dovetail are able to incorporate the best features of both desktop and tablet EDRs. Dovetail is accessible from any web browser, regardless of the underlying OS. Dentists are no longer restricted to only tablets or desktops, since they can work from their home or office as long as there is an Internet connection.

The cloud approach also ensures that the same interface is available across all devices, reducing the learning curve. There is only one version of the software to maintain and the latest upgrades are immediately pushed out to all clients. If you are looking for a modern and innovative EDR, web-based Dovetail may be the best solution for you.


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