Over the course of the last two weeks I have been traveling in Europe. The focus of my travel was meeting with Microsoft customers and partners in both Norway and Sweden. I also provided a keynote at Oslo2013 Future Healthcare Conference organized by the World Hospital Congress. Throughout my time on the road, I carried just two essential pieces of technology—my Nokia Lumia 920 Windows smartphone (also serving as my digital camera) and my Microsoft Surface Pro computer. Between those two devices, I had everything I needed to be fully connected and productive every step of the way.
I particularly want to rave about my Surface Pro computer. With a dream start screen of useful clinical and business productivity apps, and an abundance of other apps for news and entertainment, I had everything a road warrior could possible want. Although most of the time I interacted with my Surface Pro using touch, I certainly made use of the detachable Type Cover keyboard when I was in heavy writing mode. Just to be safe, I also brought along a Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile keyboard and Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse for those few times when I needed a bit more finesse than I could get from my Surface Pro’s detachable Type Cover.
There was another accessory I brought with me that attracted a lot of attention on my trip, and that was something called The BakBone. The BakBone is an elegant, removable, ring-like device that magnetically attaches to the back of a tablet computer. It promotes a secure grip while freeing my dominant hand to type, navigate, or use a stylus for data input. (Note updated 7/11/13—It has come to my attention that the BakBone mounting/connecting magnet significantly interferes with the Surface Pro’s digital stylus for screen input and navigation on areas of the screen closest to the magnet below. Therefore, I would not recommend the BakBone if you plan to use the stylus that comes with Surface Pro. The Bakbone manufacturer is aware of this issue and is working on a possible fix.)
Let me tell you the Surface Pro is no ordinary tablet. It is a fully functional Windows 8 computer that is as comfortable running my massive, video-laden 1.5 GB PowerPoint presentations while connected to gigantic conference projection systems as it is doing e-mail or crunching big data in Excel. Physician colleagues I know are proclaiming the Surface Pro to be the perfect clinical companion. This is a machine that not only pleases clinical end-users, but also any hospital’s IT department. It provides the enterprise security, connectivity, and manageability that will put your CIO at ease.
There was a time I wouldn’t have considered traveling the world with just a tablet. No more. With my Surface Pro and my smartphone I’ve not only got everything I need to be productive, but my travel bag is a whole lot lighter than it used to be. And there’s an added bonus. In most airports, I’m not even asked to remove my Surface Pro from my bag. It’s just another tablet as far as the TSA is concerned. Better not tell them that this is a tablet on steroids.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft