Drug, device reps add iPads to tool belt

If Santa doesn't bring you an iPad this holiday season, then maybe your pharma employer will. Drug and device firms are arming their sales people with the tablet devices by the thousands, the Wall Street Journal reports, and even more companies are testing them for possible implementation across their sales forces.

The advantages of the iPad? Sales reps can simply whip it out in response to a doctor's question, delivering lots of product information in a jiffy--before the doctor loses interest. No shuffling through papers, no booting up a laptop.

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT)--along with device makers Medtronic ($MDT) and Boston Scientific ($BSX)--is among the first in Big Pharma to use iPads to help display product information during sales calls. The company bought 1,000 iPads for its U.S. sales reps, and it may expand use of the tablets from there, a spokeswoman told the WSJ.

- read the Journal piece