Undoubtedly, IT is the need of the hour. The case below talks about a health care information system. It majorly highlights the use of two latest operating systems that can be used in the health care delivery. It also compares these operating systems with respect to each other. The author has very precisely done a perfect comparison of the operating systems on the basis of four parameters. These are Hardware, Application, Security and Support & Availability of Spares.
Health care business has grown by leaps & bounds with the advent of technology. One of the primary contributors to the same is the Computing phenomenon.
Computers come in all shapes & sizes. However, they are run by Operating Systems. Primarily there were only two of these in the market Windows developed by Microsoft & iOS or Mac OS developed by Apple. Our current scope of discussion will be limited to these two types of OS which have had a profound impact in the Medical field.
Support & Availability of Spares
OSes need hardware to perform. In this segment Windows is a clear winner. One can easily customize the hardware to one’s desire & budget. Hospitals have known to keep the hardware budgets pretty tight. One can run Windows even on low-end PC, but to run Mac OS, one needs to purchase a complete set that is virtually locked-down. One cannot add or remove components at will. Replacing a faulty component in a Mac is a far expensive affair than in a Windows PC. Then again, reliability of a Mac computer has never been challenged. So has its customer support. Still, owing to the virtually infinite customization options before or after purchase, Windows runs ahead in terms of Hardware.
Applications: There are many applications readily available for the Windows user. The sole reason the number of PC users is almost 10 times Mac users. Hence developers are more than willing to develop applications for Windows. However, one major flaw is the vast amount of freedom Windows allots the developers. Hence applications sometime crash or hang. But, owing to the strict guidelines laid down by Apple, very few applications crash or hang in Mac. That said, in the health care industry one cannot have an unreliable application or an unstable OS. Hence Mac computers are a clear winner as the health care delivery packages are designed only after evaluating the core needs of the client.
The fact about large number of users can also be a curse. Simply because many people opt for Windows, has let it become more vulnerable to attack by malicious codes. In a Heath care facility, the patients have all their data logged in. Details like financial records, Social Security Numbers etc, should never be allowed to be exposed. The simple reason that there are too few Mac users than Windows, makes hackers that less motivated to build a virus that will specifically attack a Mac OS. Hence Mac OS has a clear advantage. However, this scenario may change of widespread adoption of Mac OS takes place.
Support & Availability of Spares:
Components for Windows PC are available off-the-shelf. If one possesses sufficient knowledge, he/she can simply build a PC system from scratch from parts bought from a computer store. The same is not possible with Mac OS wherein one is forced to buy a complete system & upgrades, if any, are carried out by authorized personnel only. Similarly a huge hospital can really do well to hire a technician full-time to take care of petty problems, but it’s not possible in case the health care facility uses Macs.
All in all, if the health care facility can afford to pay more for reliability, go for Mac OS, if price is a constraint, and then opt for Windows OS for its simplicity & ease of serviceability.
1. Aberer, k. and J.P. (2005, March 8). Conception of Information Systems. Retrieved from http://lsirwww.epfl.ch/courses/cis/2005ss/courses/lecture1.pdf
2. Bayuk, J. (2009, May 18) Information Systems Audit: The Basics, Retrieved from http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9133200/Information_Systems_Audit_The_Basics