Keyboards and mice present obvious aesepsis issues in a treatment room. Just touching the screen seems like such an easier option. Industry insiders like those quoted in the PC Magazine article below are predicting that new technology will make touch computing the main stream method of computer use in the next few years.
After all, we already use touch screens at many commercial kiosks to enter a pin number or check in to our flight.
If all we needed to do with a computer in a dental treatment room was to punch in a pin number then touch computing might be cool. However what we often do is select small areas on an image, either a photo or x-ray for analysis. That is very hard to do with touch. We also may be entering extensive notes. That also is hard to do with touch.
The age of touch computing may be upon us but I would wait a bit before rushing off to use it in a treatment room.
The most obvious precursor to real touch computing is the Apple iPhone, a seminal device that’s still selling like candy on Christmas and has no obvious competitor. Pinching the screen to zoom in, flicking two fingers to zoom out—these gestures are replacing awkward stylus clicks on Windows Mobile devices and baaad keaypaed antiics on BlackBerry phones. There’s a better way,