The Palmdoc Chronicles

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Back from a week's vacation.

What's new in the Palm Medical PDA World? Skyscape has come out with 5 Minute Clinical Consult 2003 and it is not 2003 yet! Looks like a major revamp. Images now optional.:

5MCC™ 2003 is the handheld version of Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult 2003, an invaluable and unique clinical reference for students and practitioners. It covers thousands of topics that are indexed with terms and medications so that you can find the information in a quick and professional manner. Review the Basics, Diagnosis, Differential diagnosis, Treatment, Medications, Follow up, and important miscellaneous considerations when you use this reference on your favorite handheld device.

Download a trial

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Diagnose problems with a Palm Handheld
Ok so its car engines:

"B&B Electronics has released version 2 of its AutoTap for Palm software. AutoTap software and its hardware component (AutoTap scan tool) allows the user to diagnose engine problems, monitor engine performance and clear the Check Engine light right from a Palm OS devcie. The company said version 2 adds new features that include graphing, gauges, large displays, color and more user-configurable screens.

According to the company, the AutoTap scan tool connects a special OBD II plug-in-port on or under the dash of your car or light truck to your handheld. The AutoTap scanner then reads the signals from your vehicle's computer-controlled sensors and displays right on the device. With AutoTap for Palm, users can view and log real-time generic OBD II parameters as well as view generic and enhanced diagnostic trouble codes. "

Hmmm, if only someone will comeout with a plugin module for patients.......

Source: Palm Boulevard

Friday, December 20, 2002

Medrules revisited

It's been sometime since I last tried out this freebie. It's great and now in version 3.0 has been enhanced further by the author, Kent E. Willyard MD.

It's now OS 5.0 compatible! Download from Ectopic Brain

Saturday, December 14, 2002

What does the future hold for computers in healthcare for 2003? The crystal ball foretells:

Seven Key Physician Market Trends in 2003

· ROBUST PRACTICE WEB SITES EMERGE: Among all U.S. practicing physicians, 34% reported having a practice Web site in 2002. More than two-thirds of US physicians expressed an interest in having a Web site in the future. Data from the latest Cybercitizen®
Health research show a dramatic increase in the consumer use of practice Web sites,demonstrating a strong value proposition to physician end users.

· PDA AND HANDHELD COMPUTERS COME OF AGE: Approximately 35% of practicing physicians are actively using a PDA. Almost two-thirds of physicians using a PDA are actively using an Rx reference database on their PDA. In addition to the increased adoption of these mobile devices in general, improvements in the form factor and underlying technology, as well as the competitive pricing of new Windows devices, will drive significant growth and value in this market segment.

REALITY: Thirty-six percent of primary care physicians have already participated inelectronic detailing programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. More than 80% expect of current users expect to participate in the next 12 months. The difference in 2003 will be a growing number of pharmaceutical companies realize the value of integrating the detail rep with extended online capabilities – as a compliment (and not a replacement) to the relationship.

· SOME SPECIALISTS BECOME VERY DEPENDENT ON THE WEB: Targeted segments of practicing physicians, such as information intensive groups including Oncologists, Neurologists, and Rheumatologists, become very dependent on the Web in 2003 as a critical source for the latest clinical news and pharmaceutical information.

· PATIENT CONNECTIVITY STILL ON HOLD: Despite consumer demand to “connect” with their physicians online, the evolution of the virtual online consult remains in a holding pattern as a majority of physicians are still waiting for an economic argument to participate.
However, pilot projects underway (funded by insurers in many cases) will begin to justify the value proposition to the payer community – in turn generating a greater general understanding of the offline impact of online consults.

Following years of building online service solutions, and spurred by pending HIPAA deadlines, a majority of health plans finally deliver valued-added online solutions to participating providers in their physician networks. Building on administrative applications, early innovators also begin to roll out the first edition of e-care applications to support comprehensive patient care.

year, electronic prescribing makes a comeback with new backers. After a failed attempt by umerous pharmaceutical companies to gain control over the prescribing process at the point f care (through third party investments), the true beneficiaries of electronic prescribing insurers and PBMs) begin investing in more projects to demonstrate and capture the economic benefit (such as increased Rx formulary compliance).

source: manhattanResearch

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Earning CME credits with your PDA
Eventually compulsory CME will come to Malaysia. There is online CME being trialled by MMA. It would be even more handy if we could do this away from our desktop PCs i.e. from our handhelds.

This is not science fiction but now reality and happening in USA.
"Physicians who use handheld computers to access evidence-based medical information while caring for patients will now have the opportunity to earn continuing medical education (CME) credit for their efforts. The American College of Physicians- American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) announced its participation in a pilot program with the American Medical Association (AMA) to provide AMA PRA category 1 CME credit to physicians using PIER(TM), ACP-ASIM's evidence- based clinical decision support tool, integrated with TouchWorks clinical software from Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. "

Source: Palm Boulevard

Monday, December 09, 2002

Hmmm. Complementary medical software seems to be making its way into the PalmOS arena now. Spotted this on the web:

Acupressure & Do-in for PalmOS

"Acupressure & Do-in" is an easy-to-use guide for everyday acupressure. While not in any way a replacement for professional medical care or emergency medical treatment, it is very useful for relieving minor to moderate symptoms and pains, and can be used to supplement other medical care. First, select the most appropriate body area (Head, Trunk, Limbs or Body/Anywhere), then navigate the list of symptoms to the one best describing your complaint. Acupressure & Do-in provides a list of pressure points, with descriptions and illustrations.

Debateable whether on not it (accupressure, not the software!) works. But at least its freeware....

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Drug References in Your Palm
Indispensible. ePocrates is free. A2Z Drugs from Skyscape is also very good. Trouble with both ePocrates and A2ZDrugs is that they are based on the American Formulary so some of the medications prescribed in Malaysia are not listed. However the easiest workaround I find is the use the online DIMS which you can get from Atmedica. A2ZDrugs has a Personal section where you can add your custom drugs. By simple Cut & Paste you can add the drugs not listed into the Personal section of A2Z making it as complete as can be!
Handheld Computers for Health Workers in Africa

I am impressed that the medical PDA usage in Africa continues to show great promise. This is technology put to good use!!

"A Red Cross volunteer in Ghana stared in surprise when the screen on his PDA first lit up, but during a training session laughed and said, “I had never touched a computer an hour ago, but now I can use one!” He was one of 30 volunteers working with SATELLIFE, and organizaion with the mission to improve health in the world's poorest nations through the use of information technology, and the American Red Cross (ARC) in their Measles Initiative, which aims to vaccinate at-risk children across Africa. This in turn was part of a larger project conducted by SATELLIFE to test PDAs as a tool for data collection and information access in Africa"

read more in Palm Boulevard

Friday, December 06, 2002

"Natural" Medicine on your Palm

Increasingly Medical Doctors have to be aware of the nature of alternative medicines their patients are taking. I have had on numerous occasions the need to check up possible adverse effects and drug interaction with herbs and what not. Now Skyscape has come up with new databases on "Natural" medicines to enable physicians to look these up "on the go".

Skyscape, a provider of healthcare-based mobile solutions, has announced three new natural medicine and alternative therapies references for PDAs, including the Guide to Popular Natural Products (GNP) published by Facts and Comparisons, a complete version of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database published by Therapeutic Research Corporation and the Nursing Herbal Medicine Handbook published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Skyscape's solutions are available on multiple platforms, including Palm OS, Windows CE, and Pocket PC.

According to the company, its titles are PDA versions of the same medical reference publications used by physicians and other healthcare practitioners. Skyscape said its smARTlink technology enables end users to seamlessly connect with other medical references loaded onto their PDAs, allowing them to move in real time from diagnosing to determining treatment options and potential drug interactions and now between natural products and traditional drug therapies. The new natural medicine and alternative guides are slated to be available over the next several weeks.

source: Palm Boulevard

Monday, December 02, 2002

Been working out lately? Mens Sana In Corpore Sano....

For those of you using threadmills as part of the workout session, this Brighthand article is interesting -

"Handheld devices operating with Palm OS software can exchange -- or "beam" -- workout data to and from the Star Trac Pro Elite treadmill console. This capability, created by software programmer Jay Wright, CEO of SingleTap, offers the unique ability to accurately monitor exercise performance over time. In development for more than a year, SingleTap and Star Trac found research that revealed many treadmill users were also handheld device owners"
This cool! And what's more, you can even upload your own exercise programme:
"Users also can create their own custom workouts on the handheld and "beam" them to the treadmill. In the future, ready-made workouts will be available online as well. Users will be able to use self- or professionally-designed workouts based on individualized fitness goals."