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by Robert McMillan, Wired.com

Nancy Luo didn’t expect an answer when she e-mailed Steve Jobs one Wednesday evening two summers ago. But less than a day later, an Apple emissary knocked on her door at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

It was August 25, 2010, the last day of a long heatwave in Chicago. Luo — a second-year resident at the hospital’s internal medicine department — had been assigned the tricky task of figuring out whether a pilot program that put iPads in the hands of the hospital’s residents was working out. So she sent a note to the CEO of Apple.

The iPad had hit the market just four months earlier, but the young, tech-savvy residents at the hospital were already using Apple’s tablet to access medical data on the go. Luo thought that with some internal tweaking, she could measure whether the students were actually saving time with the iPad. “I just wanted to see if maybe Apple wanted to help us out,” she remembers.

Jobs didn’t get back to her, but at 5:21 a.m. the next day, she had an answer. Luo didn’t even read the e-mail at first, assuming it was some sort of automatic response. But when she did, she was amazed.

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