What do you mean by normal Windows 8? There are different versions of Windows 8 with different feature sets, but pretty sure the Pro has the full version. The Basic don't include certain features that are typically needed or understood by most home users. These are like BitLocker encryption, RemoteDesktop host, joining a domain, etc.
These will be massive in hospitals. Many IT departments in hospitals have been hesitant to use tablets because the go to is the ipad. Being able to keep their windows domains and maintain security with these tablets will be huge. Frankly I am surprised it took M$ so long.
Yes, I have been using mine in the hospital where I work for our EMR (electronic medical record), diagnostic imaging, etc. Remote desktop is fantastic as I can connect to my office computer from anywhere on the hospital campus.