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I'm a Physician. My speciality is Critical Care and Infectious Diseases. I'm also a Tech geek, an avid Apple fan & enjoy traveling, fine dining and tea drinking. 

Entries in Technology (1)

Tuesday
Feb162010

Why Apple is the Future Of Technology

People often think that I'm an Apple fan and has been one always. Actually I only recently started using Apple products. Growing up in South Asia, we were surrounded by Windows running machines. I never saw an Apple computer till I came to US few years ago.

There is no doubt that Windows revolutionized the personal computers back in the 90's. Windows 95 and NT were pretty good, but the later versions compromised the ease of use to complex functionality. A simple task became tougher and tougher. I remember countless nights fixing errors and formatting my system many times. 

Microsoft somehow doesn't get the idea that users want to do things quickly and painlessly. Security has been a major concern with the need for a good anti-virus agent a must. These anti-viruses are never perfect and use system resources. I, however, haven't tried Windows 7 yet and am hoping its better than its predecessors. 

Microsoft's browser Internet explorer has also been left far behind with the likes of Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. These newer browsers are inherently faster, more secure and versatile. I think Microsoft has to make some major decisions if it wants to retain its position as the biggest software company. 

Apple's biggest advantage is that its a hardware + software company. It makes a world of a difference if you make computer hardware customized to specific tasks and then write softwares for it. Apple's Mac operating system is very basic but does a wonderful job in providing users a trouble free, fast and secure system. First time I used Mac OS X, it took me literally no time to master it. Its so simple to learn and pretty stable. I do not run any anti-virus software since the operating system is relatively immune to viruses and spam. Mac's dock is a great way to have your most frequently running programs easy to access. 

Apple also writes great software for most common tasks like iLife, iWork and iTunes. These are either part of the system or available at very reasonable costs. One thing which needs a little improvement is Apple's mail program. Its very basic and for most professional users Microsoft's Entourage (part of the Office for Mac) is a better alternative. 

Innovation is Apple. Who would have thought that Apple would trump all portable mp3 players by introduction of an iPod? It wasn't even known for creating such devices. Today mp3 player is almost synonymous to an iPod. I gifted an iPod nano to my wife a few years ago and since then we have purchased around 4 others. If you look around, you would see 1 in 5 people around you has one. People give credit to Steve Jobs for such brilliant ideas, but in reality most of Apple's greatest products like new Macbooks, iMac, iPods and iPhone are all the brilliance of Jonathan Ive. He designed these revolutionary products which we all enjoy everyday. 

If I look back, June of 2007 is when my life suddenly changed and so did for so many else. iPhone was launched and all of a sudden we were doing things on our phones that we had never imagined before. As a physician I think it made me a much better doctor. I was able to pull up drug information, check medical literature and explain things to my patients better than I had ever done before. Practicing medicine in hospitals is all about communication and its so easy to communicate with other physicians. iPhone camera is good for taking pictures of skin lesions for future follow-up. 

As an Intensivist (ICU doctor) I'm very excited about Airstrip's 'Critical Care' application (not yet FDA approved) which will allow me to see my patient's bedside monitors on the iPhone in real time. I wouldn't have to wait to be paged when one of my patient suddenly develops Ventricular tachycardia. I hope someone develops an Application for hospital paging system, so I don't have to carry multiple pagers. A lab 'push' notification system for critical care labs will be very useful too. 

Apple's iPad has had mixed reviews so far, with excitement and disappointment. I find it hard to imagine how something running the same OS and softwares as an iPhone but having a bigger screen, will fail. It would simply enhance the iPhone experience by a larger LCD screen, full screen multi-touch and faster speed. 

iPad is not meant to replace desktops, laptops and smart phones. Having all the above three, I still think there is a need for another gadget that is lighter than Macbook Pro and would be ideal for traveling, e-book reading and maybe for use at my hospital. I have not met anyone who has used an iPad and hasn't been impressed with its speed and functionality. 

Unless Apple drastically changes its ways, I think it will continue to lead the computer, music/media and smart phone industry. The secret lies in company's ability to introduce products which are simple to use, fast, reliable and have the best design. Some say their products are expensive, I disagree. I purchased my Macbook Pro 3 years ago, it still works perfectly whereas a windows laptop (HP Pavilion) for me lasted only 1.5 years. You pay the price for a superior hardware, great OS + software environment and products that simply last longer. This is why Apple is and will be the future of technology.