I'm working on a tablet-based app (iPad) used by patients to quickly register upon arrival to a clinic or doctor's office. The tablets will be kept at the front desk, handed out for registration, then returned for the next person.

I'm hoping to hear from someone who has experience in this scenario and tried different options, or found one that has worked well for users.


  • Charging should be possible without removing the case
  • Cleaning should be easy, preferably without removing the case
  • Open to the idea of a standing kiosk setup if someone has seen better user satisfaction going that route
  • This is a good UX question. It also made me wonder why I actually prefer ordering food from a tablet. For some reason I think my order is more likely to be accurate when I don't have to talk to a person. -- Medical data is very different though so I've included a longer response below.
    – DaveAlger
    Mar 19, 2015 at 13:16

3 Answers 3


It depends on which model iPad you are using. We have tried several different cases at our organization, but everytime we upgrade devices, we have to find new covers.

For iPad 3, the Griffin Air Strap Med was great. This case is approved for use with most typical healthcare rated disinfectants, non-porous material, all ports are completely sealed, screen protector is cleear and tough while retaining touch sensitivity, and you can charge the tablet without removing the entire case (just pop up one end of the screen protector). Unfortunately it has been discontinued, but you might still be able to buy from third-party retailers.

For the iPad 2/3/4/Air, check out the Trident Kraken Industrial Series @ http://www.tridentcase.com/shop-products/industrial-edition/. These are new for us, but seem to be well-made and functional. The provide protection, sanitization capabilities, and some models include a built in handle.

We are now in the process of considering switching to Windows based tablets due to problems with our Citrix environment and the apps available for iOS. Again, on the hunt for cases appropriate for a hospital environment and not having much luck, but hopefully our past experience will help your future ones! :-)

PS - While the Otterbox cases are rugged and offer what is probably the best protection, their designs are NOT healthcare friendly. The soft rubber material is very porous which is impossible to fully disinfect and all of the flaps, nooks, and crannies become a breeding ground for germs. Otterbox cases in healthcare environments are an infection control nightmare!

  • Thanks, Carri, those are great recommendations. Bummer about the Griffin Air Strap Med, though—that sounds like it was a great option. The only other case I've come across that was deliberately targeted at healthcare is the Tough-PAC case innervisiontechnology.com/products.htm but for some reason we've had trouble actually getting one. Apr 27, 2015 at 13:35

1. Less is More

The best case scenario is one where you walk in to the receptionists office and someone greets you by name and confirms your appointment without any input from you.

This would be very hard to accomplish with so many offices over-populated and under-staffed. The good news is that most people realize the situation and are comfortable with using technology as long as it isn't frustrating.

I have seen way too many forms in doctor's offices that look like they were written for medical professionals. Do you really need to know if anyone I'm related to has glaucoma? I barely know what that is. Look for an option that only requires a single piece of information to check-in.

2. Be professional (not quirky)

Healthcare is something every single individual has to deal with at some point in their life. Some more than others. It can be a sensitive issue so be sure the interaction with the user is unassuming and professional.

Chances are good that most users of this device don't want to be there in the first place so anything you can do to not frustrate the user will go a long way.

3. Reassure the user / Leave the door open

The welcome screen should have a short message letting the user know their data is kept safe and only authorized personnel will be able to see it.

I would also put a message like this, "Feel free to give this device back to a receptionist and let them know if you prefer checking in another way. We understand."

4. Recall over Recognition

Pretty much everyone knows their name so I would start with that. A single input box asking the user to enter their name (please no auto-complete or help here) In the off chance that 2 people with the exact same name have an appointment around the same time you may have to do something extra but only in this extreme case should you ask for more input.

Once the system knows the user it can confirm their appointment time. You should know this so don't make me enter the exact time -- I gave you my name, just let me confirm my appointment.

5. Be careful with medical data

If you can avoid confirming personal information at all then that would be best. In the case where you do need each person to confirm / update personal information then I would say a receptionist would need to log each person in to the system where the user can then see all their previous answers and confirm with a single click that they have reviewed the information and it is accurate.

  • This is all really good for the UI, but I think he was asking specifically for the case. Mar 19, 2015 at 17:55
  • 1
    That's great stuff, @DaveAlger. While I am specifically looking for advice on physical tablet cases with my question, I can see how it could easily have been interpreted as a request for a “use case.” We are very much of the same thinking across your points, though. Mar 19, 2015 at 20:56
  • Oops, well it's good to know the app is user friendly. I hope to see it next time I go to the doctor's office
    – DaveAlger
    Mar 20, 2015 at 5:31

This is kinda interesting. There are two sides to this: the office workers, and the patients, and each have their own requirements. To start, the requirements of any such case are:

  1. Waterproofing

  2. Enhanced grip (even a handle)

  3. Enhanced durability

    Looking at that list, you could just get an OtterBox, which seem to be one of the strongest cases out there. However, looking at those models, they would be a huge pain to wills down, and dirt would definitely build up in all the seams. A lot of consumer cases have multiple pieces that fit together creating seams, or ridges that would be annoying to wipe down every day.

Additionally, you know these iPads aren't supposed to be carried around in bags or purses, so you might as well add a handle or large grippy areas to the case since size isn't a limiting factor. This would also make the iPad's harder to steal, and make them more durable.

I imagine the best case to look for would have smooth edges, and a minimal design that is easy to clean. It would have a large (smooth) handle with grippy, non-porous rubber to help patients hold it.

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