The Palmdoc Chronicles

Monday, September 29, 2003

PDAs Are Good Medicine

Doctor Recommended: PDAs Are Good Medicine is an interesting news item which tells of a recent AvantGo® survey which "uncovers why medical professionals are among the fastest adopters of mobile technology".
"Results of the 2003 AvantGo Healthcare Professional Survey show that medical professionals are using PDAs most often to access clinical information (70%), get medical news (58%) and leverage medical calculators (57%). And they are doing so regularly - nearly half of respondents indicated that they access AvantGo health-related channels once a week or more. In addition, specialty news, medical abstracts and practice management tips topped the mobile content wish list."

Do you AvantGo? I do. But looking at my channels lately, none seem to be medical. I get my dose of medical news from RSS nowadays (see a couple of blog posts back on RSS) :)

Sunday, September 28, 2003

SpeakEasy EMS Translator

"Imagine responding to a 9-1-1 call and you are met by a group of people speaking in a foreign language. You can't even figure out who is hurt, or where they are. You may not even know if you are at the right location. Imagine finding a victim who is speaking to you, but you can't understand what they are trying to tell you. You can't ask the basic questions like "Does this hurt?" or "Are you taking any medications?". You don't even know what type of translator to request on the radio."

If you live in a multi-lingual multi-cultural society as I do, coping with multiple languages and dialects can be a nightmare. Oh, don't I wish for a Universal Translator device ala StarTrek. Unfortunately such a device does not yet exist. However,
SpeakEasy EMS Translator by Pocket Mobility, Inc aims at least to help EMS personnel cope with vital phrases in various languages.

Lets see them come up with Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Tamil, Gujerati, Thai, Korean and Japanese. Then I'd be interested. ;)
I think if someone could come up with a product which has text->speech utilising themultimedia capabilities of the newer PDAs, that would be also very interesting.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Palm OS RSS News Reader

Finally. I have been going about in a convoluted fashion trying to get RSS feeds into my Palm using Amphetadesk and iSilo. The efforts were chronicled here.

Palminfocenter has a story about StandAlone releasing the first Palm OS RSS Newsreader. You can get your favorite (medical or non-medical) RSS feed now directly into your Palm via Hotsync or from the Internet directly if your Palm has direct Internet access.

The blurb from StandAlone:
Hand/RSS for Palm OS includes a variety of news feeds including:
BBC News
Boing Boing
CNet News
The Register
and many more!
Additionally, you can add any new feeds quickly and easily! For a searchable list of RSS feeds to add, visit Syndic8.
PDAs mandatory for med students

UB Reporter: PDAs mandated for med students reports how the University at Buffalo, USA has made PDAs mandatory for medical students.

"Move over, Stedman's. Make way, Netter's. At the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, all medical students have added something new—and high-tech—to their list of must-have school supplies: a personal digital assistant, more commonly known as a PDA.

The school last year began requiring all first-year students to report for class with one of the palm-sized, computer-compatible organizers. This fall, students in all four classes are expected to own one."

"Rapid access to information at the bedside makes a big difference in the quality of patient care. Clearly, PDAs offer significant advantages in medicine, and we wanted our students to be at the forefront of this technology."

If you are a staff member of a medical school reading this, listen up: "Do you want your students to be at the forefront of technology"??
PDAs have come a long way, baby.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Vanderbilt and Skyscape

Palm Boulevard: News: Vanderbilt Nursing School Leverages PDAs: "Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has selected Skyscrape's smARTlink handheld references for use in the school’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program.
“Having mobile versions of the same trusted textbooks I would normally assign to my students is extremely advantageous. And with Skyscape’s technology combined with the student discount program, the PDA references provide more value,' said Renee McLeod, program director, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. 'Skyscape’s technology enables my students to seamlessly smARTlink from the Five Minute Pediatric Clinical Consult to Stedman’s Dictionary or A2Z Drugs, whether in an ‘open-PDA’ exam or in their clinical site.” "
Babycheck 1.4
FreewarePalm: BabyCheck v1.4 has been updated.
- Weight and Height follow up during the 3 first years
- Visual check with the average values
- List of the first words
- Birth information: Weight, Height, Date and Time
- Zodiacal sign
- Firstname symbolic (lucky number, lucky period)

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


McGraw Hill and Unbound Medicine have come up with a free download called Diagnosaurus which is billed as a differential diagnosis tool.
Diagnosaurus includes diagnoses adapted from CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, providing access to more than 1,000 differential diagnoses, covering more than 500 symptoms and signs, and 700 diseases.
Information is alphabetically categorized and searchable by disease, symptom and organ system. The symptom selections are all hyperlinked with cross-references to related diagnoses within the program.

News source: Palm Bouelvard
Westmead MO's handbook 2003

The Westmead Hospital Medical Officers' Handbook 2003 edition is now available in iSilo format as a download from Memoware.

The Westmead Hospital is a busy hospital serving the western part of Sydney, Australia. It's great that they have come up with a handy booklet which I think will be very useful for their residents. Some of the info there is specific to the hospital but the other bits of info are generic. Worth checking out.

Monday, September 22, 2003


Spotted in FreewarePalm: ICUmath.


51 adult ICU applications using 80 medical equations, pulmonary, cardiology, BNP nomogram, pharmacokinetic dosing, renal, electrolyte, chemistry, nutrition, TPN, perioperative risk, biostatistics, acls, apache II, unit conversions, rules of thumb.

The floppy is dead. Long live flash memory!

One thing about me sticking with PalmOne pdas rather than migrating to the Sony camp has been the SD memory card format. If you have a digital camera (I use a Kyocera Finecam S3) or other gadgets which use SD/MMC memory cards, then it's great being able to interchange the cards. Lately I have been using these cards to transport files to and fro. Have been using USB card readers but carrying around cables isn't cool. Just got an Imation FlashGo PCA 4in1 card reader which reads SD/MMC/SmartMedia/Memory Stick cards in a compact PCMCIA plug-n-play format is really cool.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Top 10 Medical Software at Palmgear by Downloads

I thought I'd list them as reported by Palmgear sort by category listing. Isn't it amazing 2 out of top 3 are software for women?

Top 10 downloaded Medical Software from Palmgear:

1 Woman Calendar 5.1 115,096 25-Oct-02
Woman is a personal ovulation calendar and family planning tool for women.Its major goal is to help storing, organizing and using the information encoded in past menstrual cycles

2 MedCalc 4.3 105,917 29-Apr-03
Med Calc is the most full-featured medical calculator for Palm OS (76 formulas and scores, localized for french and english). Main features: free easy to use comprehensive (76 formulas)

3 MS Woman 6.0 95,318 11-Aug-03
MSWoman is a monthly cycle tracking software for Palm, which rightly meets the needs of today's busy women. Extremely practical and user-friendly.

4 MedRules 3.3 63,088 05-Jun-03
MedRules is an award-winning application featuring useful clinical prediction rules taken from the medical literature.

5 MedMath 1.21 57,963 07-Jul-02
MedMath is a medical calculator for the Palm, written by a physician for rapid calculation of common formulas in adult internal medicine. Features more than 30 formulas sorted by category

6 ePocrates Rx 6.0 55,185 30-Oct-02
Used by over 650,000 healthcare professionals, ePocrates Rx is the most easy to use, comprehensive and widely adopted drug reference for Palm OS handheld devices.

7 Eponyms 1.69 34,108 19-May-03
Rovsing's sign? Virchow's node? Here is a database of over 1400 common and obscure medical eponyms.

8 Medical Dictionary Bundle /Beiks/ 2.6 32,739 11-Jul-03
Everyone should have a Medical Dictionary, but it is particularly important for medical students and allied health professionals.

9 Common Medical Lab Values w/ Diffs 1.1a 29,393 15-Jul-01
This is a program that contains common medical lab values with differentials. What are symptoms of hyponatremia or causes or increased BUN! Now you can have the information at the tip of your tongue.

10 ABG Pro 2.2 26,928 22-Oct-00
An amazing program that will completely analyze arterial blood gases for you! No longer will you be confused by ABG's.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Medical info at your fingertips

Mobile Content Goes to the Doctor is another recent article on this issue. Nothing much new covered here but it brings up another age-old issue: Palm vs Pocket PC:

To quote the article:

To date, the Palm remains the device of choice, but Dr. John Halamka, who is CIO at both Harvard Medical School and CareGroup Healthcare says that while Palm is the clear favorite, devices running Windows CE are making inroads, and people in his facilities are using a variety of devices. "What's interesting, although it's true we're seeing a tipping point of doctors going more to Windows CE devices, the Palm OS still has mindshare." Halamka attributes this to a couple of factors. First of all, he points out that the Palm form factor is small and fits neatly into the doctor's white-jacket pocket. He says, "The Compaq iPaq is a little big, so it doesn't quite fit." Further, he says that many folks in his organization don't have offices and therefore don't have access to a charging cradle, so they need a device with a long battery life.

IDC's Slawsby says, "I think the battery life of [Palms] tends to be significantly longer than that of Pocket PCs, which enables a doctor to have that device with them and use it for a couple of days at a time without having to find a [charging] cradle. Traditionally with Pocket PCs, you've had to recharge them at least once a day and that makes it very difficult if a doctor needs the device and has to put it in a cradle because it doesn't operate." Slawsby also points out that Palms cost less. He says, "Palms also tend to be cheaper and doctors can find the requisite amount of functionality at a lower price from a Palm than they can with a Pocket PC."

So who will win the battle for the doctors' pockets: Palm or PPC?

Mobile Lipid Clinic

Mobile Lipid Clinic is offering 2 free CHD Risk Assessment Calculators and
the free Mobile Lipid Clinic™ Patient Management Program.

The CHD Risk Calculators provide basic assessments based on the Framingham Heart Study and the ATP III Treatment Guidelines.

The programs run on a PalmTM PDA or Windows® based computers. Interested practitioners may download these programs for free.

I think such programs are useful educational tools for front-line practitioners. There are other benefits of using electronic data capture (EDC) and SST is one such company which works with pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies in this area.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Washington University, and Skyscape, Inc.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Washington University, and Skyscape, Inc. Give Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows Instant Electronic Access to Vital Clinical Information :

"Leading medical publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) and Washington University, today announced they will expand their existing partnership. In addition to The Washington Manual(TM) of Medical Therapeutics, Thirtieth Edition there will be two new PDA series. Skyscape, Inc., the leading provider of enterprise-wide mobile medical and nursing reference solutions will partner with LWW and Washington University to release handheld versions of The Washington Manual(TM) Survival Guide Series and The Washington Manual(TM) Subspecialty Consult Series. The already successful guidebook series will now be available in PDA format, giving medical students, residents, and fellows quick and reliable access to point-of-care information they need to face the challenges of residency and clerkship. "

Wow.Aren't we spoilt for choice...

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

More wireless docs

Another article on Wifi and doctors here: WIRELESS:Just What the Doctor Ordered.

Makes me wonder when the WiFI SD cards are gonna be released. Seems like they are taking forever. I would love to be able to access hospital/lab data via WiFi from my PDA.
But I think this is going to the extreme:
"Bruce Brown, a physician at St Vincent's, says he believes using mobile technology to access and update medical records will help him spend more time with patients.
Before Brown began using a wireless wearable computer from Xybernaut, complete with an LCD screen mounted on his glasses, he commuted between his patients and hills of paper. " That's too geeky, even for me LOL.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Diabetes-Software für das deutschsprechende

Wenn Sie Deutsches und haben Diabetes mellitus sprechen, dann kann diese Palme Software Sie interessieren.
Das blurb:
Diabetes Patienten über einen langen Zeitraum beobachten zu können.
Mit dem Werkzeug ist der Patient in der Lage, mit seinem Diabetes Berater die Behandlung zu besprechen und seinen Anforderungen entsprechend anzugleichen.
Eine Beobachtung des Blutzuckerspiegels in Papierform soll damit überflüssig werden.

Friday, September 12, 2003

More use for the T|T's Bluetooth?

I use Bluetooth everyday. My SE t610 phone connects via Bluetooth to my SE HBH-30 headset for wireless handsfree. Great when driving and when the hospital calls you. I also use Bluetooth to connect my T|T to my SE t610 phone to dial (my Palm has 3500 contacts, try keeping that number on your mobile!) , send SMS (short message service) messages (yes, sometimes to patients too!)and sometimes to connect via GPRS to the 'net for email and other stuff. Now that the FDA Approves First Medical System Using Bluetooth Wireless Technology we might be seeing more Bluetooth enabled medical devices and perhaps more use of this technology with our handhelds in the future.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

OnTimeRx and Healthcare providers

When I first checked out OnTimeRx, it was a rather simple medication reminder. In it's latest version, there are more features:
- Reminders for all medication doses - Routine or PRN
- Reminders for remaining Days Supply
- Reminders for To Do events
- All Reminders have auto-snooze alarms
- Activity response log for Drugs and To Do events
- Personal medical history and 911 data
- List manager for healthcare supplies

Currently, OnTimeRx has a Healthcare Provider Program. This is a "business model to provide special benefits and incentives for pharmacists, nurses, and doctors who utilize On-Time-Rx® in practice or recommend its use for their patients". If you think promoting a tool which will help your patients become more compliant with the medications is a good thing, then I think it might be worth checking out this program.Some other benefits include "a custom banner for the On-Time-Rx® main screen that displays your facility's name and phone number" . If I read the registration form right, you get a free reg code by signing up with them too!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Skyscape has recently released DSM-IV-TR, the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, in the familiar Skyscape e-book reference system. I remember during my medical student days, lugging around DMS-III during my Psychiatry rotation. Now you can carry the latest edition right in your Palm!
The blurb:
"Since the DSM-IV™ was published in 1994, there have been many advances in our knowledge of psychiatric illness. This Text Revision incorporates information culled from a comprehensive literature review of research about mental disorders published since DSM-IV™ was completed in 1994. Updated information is included about the associated features, culture, age, and gender features, prevalence, course, and familial pattern of mental disorders. "

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Doc Panama eBooks

Doc Panama is Physician assistant whose website has a number of nice free iSilo medical ebooks.
The screenshots on his page were taken from a lores Palm and I wondered what some of the ebooks would look like in hires Palms such as the Tungsten T.

The Chest XRay guide is an adaptation of Dr Barbara Ritter's book in iSilo format.
This is a handy reference manual covering basic chest radiology and recognition of pathological conditions. I think the content is great and would be an invaluable addition to the medical or nursing students ebook library. I'm keeping a copy on my SD for now too as I think it would be a nice revision for me as well!
The images show up quite nicely in hires but the font was initially too small (well, for my eyes anyway) but looked better when the font size was adjusted to large

Interpreting the 12 Lead ECG (that's EKG for you Yankees - when will you guys learn to spell ;) ) is another iSilo adaptation from Doc Panama where the images also appear quite nicely on a hires Palm. The book deals with the basics of 12-lead monitoring to recognition of AMI and other pathologies by their waveforms. There is no coverage on arrhythmias I am afraid, so you will have to look elsewhere (take a look at this US$10 Pocket Brain's 12 lead ECG book). However this freebie too would make a nice addition to library of the medical student coming to grips with ECGs for the first time.

Friday, September 05, 2003

BNF in your Palm (II)
-- Details removed at the request of the BNF --

Monday, September 01, 2003

The T|T on that trip

Recently went to Hanoi on a trip to give a talk. How useful was my PDA?
Apps used:
1) Worldmatepro - checked weather, timezone difference, scheduled airport and hotel check-in/checkout times, list things to take along
2) Agendus - schedule meeting events and take notes during the meeting
3) Docs2Go for taking my Powerpoint presentation with me so that I could run thru the slides before the talk - much faster than booting up a notebook (besides I did not bring along my notebook, only my talk burned on a CD-R and a backup stored on SD card)
4) Games to pass the time away while travelling on the road, the longest being the road trip to Halong Bay. Beautiful place and well worth the visit.....