iPad-Toting Doctors Fuel Publisher Profits As Paper Fades

Staff Writer | Daily Herald | September 14, 2013

Ohio doctor Mrunal Shah recently shipped four boxes of medical texts to developing countries because he can't recall the last time he cracked a book rather than tapping for information on his iPad.

"There is no paper chart in any of my hospitals, and it's rare to see people even using paper and pen," said Shah, 41.

While that's good news for Apple, the shift has also been a boon for Wolters Kluwer and Reed Elsevier, academic-journal publishers that trace their roots to the 19th century. Both now employ more technology staffers than editors as doctors trade in dusty volumes of "Gray's Anatomy" for digital tools such as UpToDate, an online medical encyclopedia from Wolters Kluwer or a similar product from Reed Elsevier called ClinicalKey.

"Before doctors would read and call their peers who wrote an article to discuss it," Wolters Kluwer Chief Executive Officer Nancy McKinstry said in an interview. "Now that can be explained on a tablet and the procedures can be seen online."