The Palmdoc Chronicles

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Qpalm Herbs

Qpalm - Herbs 1.0 has been released

Qpalm Herbs 1.0 is a PDA application including single herbs with full color pictures and herbal formulas.
-> 350 single herbs pictures and descriptions (the botanical, English and pinyin versions of the name, properties, entering channels, what it does, application and special attributes.)
-> In herbal formulas, 272 herbal formulas are listed according to alphabetical order or categorical order.
-> Herbal Formula Pinyin Name, English name, Category, Diagnosis, Indications, Clinical Application, ID of Pattern, Caution, Ingredient (hierarchy, nature, dosage, function).
-> Edit Function - You can edit single herbs and herbal formulas text.
->Search Function - After searching the key word, you can see the result and click the single herbs on the list one by one to see the image and text. Also you can search in the herbal formula section.
* It will cover the California State Acupuncture Licensing Exam and the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine Exams (NCCAOM).

Monday, August 30, 2004

Word processing and Contact addresses

Do you use your Palm to write letters? I do. I sometimes take my T3 and Palm Portable Keyboard with me to the ward and I'll be typing away replies to referrals or urgent medical reports.
I had a conversation with a colleague recently who uses his T3 to write alot of letters and he was lamenting the fact that he can't use PopUpNames on the T3 anymore (since it is a "hack" and hacks geenrally don't run in OS5 - this one doesn't run properly even with TealMaster). One of the most useful features of PopUpNames is the ability to create Templates with which you can Paste items from your Contacts like firstname, lastname, address directly into your Word processor. The builtin Palm addressbook is hopeless in this respect since you can only copy out one line at a time and not the whole address or contact details.
I too miss this wonderful app and sadly Mr Benc is no longer with us so it's highly unikely that PopUpNames will be updated.
Anyway I just want to share with you all I found something which can do the same thing though it does not have customisable templates. It's called Address2Memo. This app lets you copy the entire Contact details either to the Clipboard or Export it to Memo. You can quickly prune off the unwanted details in your Word Processor so it's a decent workaround. It works best with a utility like McPhling which alllows you to switch to and fro between the Word processor and Address2Memo.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Wifi and the T5

Yup, it's rumor season again as we axiously await more news of the upcoming palmOne models.
There's an interesting thread going on in 1src with purported spec and even pictures of the Tungsten|T5 which will be palmOne's next flagship PDA.
I am relieved to hear it will come with both Bluetooth and Wifi builtin. I can't live without Bluetooth since I rely on it heavily for connecting my T3 with my Bluetooth capable phones - mainly for SMS messaging and accessing the Internet via GPRS.
But I think WiFi is essential now that more places have Wifi and that includes hospitals as in this MobileHealthData article
Gosh, November seems so far away ;)

Friday, August 27, 2004

Clinical Gastroenterology

Clinical Gastroenterology 2005 v1 has been released by Pacific Primary Care.
This is another iSilo reference in their excellent series of medical e-books.
Application Description:
Subjects include: constipation, acute/ chronic diarrhea, flatulance, abd pain, splenomegally, hemorrhoids, incontinence, pruritis ani, GI bleeding, hepatology, irritable bowel disease, hernias, hepatology, hepatitis, malabsorption, sprue, bacterial overgrowth, c. difficile, obstruction, GERD, H pylori, GI cancers, esophageal disorders, acute/chronic pancreatitis, belching.....
Key Features: A detailed reference text that contains very easy to navigate, yet detailed workups, diagnostics, and treatments for a myriad of GI problems in the both the clinic and hospital setting.

Maine Rx

Maine Rx 2004b has been updated
Maincare's Latest PDL, July 2004. The latest Elderly discount drug list 8/15/04. Don't use outdated drug information. Get Maine Rx 2004 NOW.
Mainecare, Maine's Medicaid, publishes a preferred drug list (PDL)that is confusing, cumbersome and changes frequently. With Maine Rx you get the list in your Palm(tm) with updates to the list at
Version 2004b has enhanced search functions, now choose between QUICK SEARH - much faster and FULL SEARCH plus search by category. From the drug detail page see more drugs from the same category. Visit for more details. Now easily see alternative drugs in the same category and avoid filing PA forms. The new drug list also has all the criteria the state needs to approve a PA. See at a glance if your patient can even get the drug you want to use. Expanded help menu.
Save space in your device RAM by moving the drug list to your memory card (if you have one).

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Beers lists and Palm Databases

Beers lists has been released as Jfile databases (CSV files included so you can convert this to other database formats) courtesy of Stuart Sutton.
Taken from Stuart's readme file:
Beers list (Named here for the lists developed from criteria originally developed by Mark H. Beers, MD and first published in 1991 ) is an ever evolving list of drugs specifically felt to have risks for use in elderly individuals.
Or, better put, "potentially inappropriate medication use in adults 65 years and older in the United States."
The most recent update is at

There are two database files:
The file "Beers List" is the "2002 Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults: Independent of Diagnoses or Conditions"
The file "Beers List2" is the "2002 Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults: Considering Diagnoses or Conditions"

Speaking of databases, I am pleased that Jfile is very much alive. I was a Jfile registered user when it first was released - there was little choice as it was the only PalmOS database program back then. When HanDbase was released I was impressed by the design and relational capabilities and have since switched to HanDbase. Jfile too has since evolved but there are now quite a few other database alternatives for PalmOS such as MobileDB and even an Opensource (free) one called Pilot DB. Whichever you use, there should be accompanying tools for you to easily convert the CSV (comma separated value text) file to the appropriate PDB format. If you need help, give a shout ;)

Update: I located this article A Comparison Of Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Database Software: A Guide To Choosing An Application For Professional Practice Data Management by David L. Cecillon CD, BSc Chem, BSc (Pharm); Robert M. Balen, B.Sc.(Pharm), Pharm.D. (J Inform Pharmacother 2003;14:500) which might interest you if you are deciding which Palm database to use. There are some nice tips and flow charts in this article which should help you in your decision making.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Skyscape has released CancerPRA™ (Handbook of Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention)
Over 50 percent of all cancers in the U.S. could be prevented. The Handbook of Cancer Risk-Assessment and Prevention is a practical guide for health care providers that can help make this a reality. Its pages are filled with information to help you reach your patients with up-to-date, engaging messages about how they can lower their cancer risk.
Written for health care providers at all levels, this handbook covers in depth fourteen of the most common cancers in the U.S. -- providing for each a scientific summary of risk factors, a risk assessment tool for patients, and helpful hints to promote risk-reducing lifestyle changes. Additional sections focus specifically on five key lifestyle behaviors that lower not only the risk of cancer but also the risk of other chronic diseases.
Integrated in this reference is an interactive risk assessment questionnaire for use at point-of-care. This questionnaire will aid in interviewing patients about their potential risk then display their score and offer recommendations.

I find the last bit - the use of handheld Interactive forms quite interesting and may be a novel way to interact with your patients. Hopefully more apps can utilise this feature. This app does not allow one to save the form data for individual patients or at least export it - pity, otherwise it would be a an even more useful tool.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Clinical Nephrology

Pacific Primary Care have released Clinical Nephrology 2005 v1

Application Description:
Topics include: acute & chronic renal failure, edema, hypertension, acid-base physiology, hematuria, proteinuria, rhabdomyolysis, electrolytes, urinalysis, cystic diseases, cancer, RTA and more much, much more...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Haemoncrules 1.4

I have updated Haemoncrules and it's now version 1.4
In this update I have added a couple of new modules:
- CML Stage/Phase WHO
- Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma Prognostic scoring
I have also made corrections to errors (mainly spelling mistakes) pointed out by Andrew Yee - thanks Andrew! Andrew btw, is the author of Eponyms which has it's very own web page.
Haemoncrules remains freeware but users if they "register" by sending me email will be kept informed of software updates.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Skyscape has released USMLE S2.

Written by Dr. Brochert, who scored in the 99th percentile in Steps 1 and 2 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), this new addition to The Secrets Series® provides essential questions and answers covering topics that have appeared on recent Step II exams and will enable medical students to become more confident and do very well on their test. Questions and answers cover such important areas as: taking a patient’s history, knowing the cut-off values for treating common conditions, subspecialty areas of concern, common and life-threatening conditions, health maintenance issues.

C-Tools 2.0

The American Cancer Society is looking for alpha/beta testers for it's C-Tools 2.0 program due for release in January 2005.
The are looking for residents, nurses, physician assistants, and doctors who would like to review and comment on the tools as they are created. No Palm Pilot or PDA is needed. If you want to sign up please email them here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Noah of KVPUG has started an interesting thread here
Check it out.....

Hematology / Oncology Resources

Leo has posted over in some links to Hematology / Oncology Resources for PalmOS and PPC (including yours truly's Haemoncrules). If anyone has more links please let me know - I am still in the process of compiling more....

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

ePocrates gets lactation facts right ... finally

Back in December 2003, I pointed out that ePocrates had a flaw in their drug info for prednisolone which stated that prednisolone was "Not safe for nursing infants; medication contraindicated or requires cessation of breast feeding"
I wrote to ePocrates and they replied that they would look into it.
I did not hear anything from them but I am pleased to report that they have now completely revised the lactation safety rating system:

In July, our Medical Information editors completely revised the lactation safety rating system in ePocrates Rx® and ePocrates Rx Pro™.

In order to provide more clinically relevant, useful and up-to-date information, our editors consulted a variety of references, including FDA-approved package inserts, specialty references, consensus documents published by the AAP and WHO, and the primary literature.

As a result of this extensive work, the single letter codes (S, S*, S? and NS) previously used have been replaced by one- or two-word ratings. To view this information, please AutoUpdate. Then select a drug, click on "Other Info" and review "Lactation". Simply tap on the underlined rating for its definition:

Safe: Substantial human data demonstrates no risk/minimal risk to infant/breast milk or medication not orally bio available to infant; medication usually compatible with breastfeeding
Probably Safe: Limited information in animals and/or humans demonstrates no risk/minimal risk of adverse effects to infant/breast milk; caution advised
Safety Unknown: Inadequate literature available to assess risk; caution advised
Safety Conditional: Unsafe in certain populations; see pkg. insert
Possibly Unsafe: Available animal and/or human data demonstrates potential or actual adverse effects to infant/breast milk; consider alternatives or weigh risk/benefit
Unsafe: Available data demonstrates high risk of significant adverse effects to infant/breast milk; medication contraindicated or requires cessation of breastfeeding

The updated lactation safety ratings in ePocrates drug monographs provide a unique resource in an area of medication use that lacks standardization in the medical literature; currently, the FDA does not assign lactation ratings, and package inserts generally lack detailed information on the use of drugs in women who are breastfeeding their infants. We believe that the new lactation safety content from ePocrates reflects the best current information available regarding medication use while breastfeeding.

Yes and the info for prednisolone has been updated as well. Better late than never.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

PocketConsult from Elsevier

Elsevier, the well known Medical and Health science publishing company has launched PocketConsult, a Medical PDA portal.

Well, I'm all for giving it a test drive since there is a chance to sample free content!

Thanks to MobileHealthData for the tip.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Clinical Urology

Pacific Primary Care has released Clinical Urology 2005

Topics include: kidney stones, acute/ chronic prostatitis, testicular masses, acute scrotal pain, urinary tract infections, pediatric conditions (hypospadias, cryptorchidism, nocturnal enuresis...), incontinence, interstitial cystitis, cancers, BPH, sexual disorders, erectile dysfunction, trauma, infertility, urinary tract infections, nocturia......

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

MIMS update

Received a fresh (paper) copy of MIMS today. The cover says iMIMS has a CD-LAN-PDA version. I checked up the website and the Asian PDA version is still "under development" and get this, the "prototype still being developed on pocket PC platform".
What about PalmOS, duuuh?
At least MIMS Australia has got it right and there is a PalmOS and PPC version in their Products page. Why are the folks in charge of MIMS Asia re-inventing the wheel and can't they just borrow the tools from the Aussies?

The requirements:

PDA Requirements:
Palm™ Palm OS 3.1 or higher
4MB of Memory
Pocket PC™ Windows Mobile 2003 or Pocket PC 2002 Operating System
15MB of Memory

See the difference? :P

Anyway the MIMS Australia PDA version has been updated and you can download the August update.

PG Software update

Some new releases in Palmgear:

The Surgical Intern Pocket Survival Guide
WillsEye4™ (The Wills Eye Manual, Fourth Ed.)

Athens 2004

mens sana in corpore sano

Well the ultimate in sporting events is coming up folks. Take a break from things medical and let the Olympic fever set in. This is one fever which paracetamol won't touch till the games are over ;)
Anyway I thought I'd share a database of the Athens 2004 schedule which I converted from the MobileDB version from Memoware into CSV and HanDbase format. Enjoy ;)

Clinical Womens Health

Pacific Primary Care has released the iSilo reference Clinical Womens Health 2005 v1

Topics include: contraception, infections, breast problems, pelvic pain, menopause, sexual disorders, infertility, osteoporosis, cancers and even pregnancy issues. Full of clinical pearls for practicing clinicians. An excellent text for students and residents as well

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Clinical Evidence with Auto-Updates 2.2

Clinical Evidence, produced by the BMJ Publishing Group, provides a concise account of the current state of evidence on the prevention and treatment of a wide range of clinical conditions. It contains evidence related to hundreds of therapeutic and preventative interventions, derived from thousands of original studies, and presents it in a concise, easy-to-use format.
Powered by CogniQ™ from Unbound Medicine
With your purchase of Clinical Evidence, you get a year's access to Clinical Evidence on the PDA, a personal Web Library, and access to Unbound MEDLINE on the Web. After one year you can choose to renew, which will extend your benefits, or you can keep the Clinical Evidence content on your PDA without access to Auto-Updates or the Web features.

What will dominate?

Mobilehealthdata has this article on what handhelds will dominate in the future. It's based on John Peddie's Techwatch report.

While the report does not address health care specifically, the advances will have an impact on the industry, Peddie says. The advances won't provide enough resolution to view a diagnostic image in detail on a PDA, Peddie says. But they will improve clinicians' ability to view and vocally annotate medical records at the point of care. Speaking into a hand-held device about a change that needs to be made to a patient's chart is much easier than writing it down or typing it in, he adds.

My take is all this hype on pure PDAs becoming a dying breed and the world moving to multi-media PDAs and smartphones may be too simplistic. I think connectivity is important and going wireless will be more important as more hospitals move in that direction. I have yet to see battery technology improve to cope with the power hungry demands of multimedia, cellular telephony and wireless all in one. Fuel cells? Perhaps. We'll see....
Will you switch to a smartpohne e.g. Treo610 as your next PDA upgrade? For me it's not good enough yet. I would miss the 64MB of Ram and the larger screen a dedicated PDA has over a smartphone.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Eponyms v1.82

Andrew Yee has updated his freebie Eponyms now v1.82

Rovsing's sign? Virchow's node? Here is a list of over 1,520 medical eponyms, common and obscure, with descriptions.
Update Description:
v1.82 (7/24/04):
- Now 1520 eponyms!

More Handheldmed titles

Handheldmed continues their title release blitz on Palmgear:
American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines 2nd Edition

Nursing Care Plans, 4th Edition
A to Z Drug Facts from Facts and Comparisons, 2nd Edition
The 5 Minute Emergency Medicine Consult 2nd Edition
The EKG Pocket Survival Guide


Mobile Pulse Oximeter Device for the Palm

MedicTouch™ - Mobile Pulse Oximeter Device (mPOD) is the world's first cellular SpO2 medical device. It is a unique and innovative product that combines state of the art J2ME software with best in class SpO2 sensors and a color cellular phone, to create the world's first Pulse Oximeter Cellular Device, with built-in data communications capabilities
mPOD display, in real time, heart pulse rate per minute rate, blood oxygen saturation or SpO2 and archive to record the data.

You can download the demo Mpod software.
" The mPOD patent pending device is compact, easy to use, built on world-class sensor technology and MedicTouch Algorithms all bundled in a Palm OS application. This is NOT a medical device.
mPOD application requires MedicTouch Palm SPO2 cable. Details can be seen at"

I think this might make an excellent home monitoring tool.
Someone posted this feedback in Freewarepalm:
***** [Aug 6, 2004] by David Smoot
I've actually seen the real hardware in my hands and the package is impressive. Multi-platform (Nokia smartphone, Palm, Palm smartphone, etc) and multi-protocol (Bluetooth and wired), this is a smart package of hardware and software.

Palmdoc's fingers are getting itchy ;)

HeartBeat v1.0

With this program you can measure your heart rate.
It is very simple to use: just tap the picture in the same rithm of your heart.
- Available in english and brazilian portuguese
- Sound

HeartBeat is freeware.
Here's a suggestion for the author: if it can analyse the rhythm (regular, regularly irregular or irreguarly irregular=AF) apart from measure the rate thathat would be cool.
I also wonder if the PDA's microphone might be sensitive enough to pick up the heart sounds if you place the PDA/mic on the chest (yeah I know this would look clumsy) and the software can detect the heart rate? That would save on tapping.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Hyperbili has been updated to version 1.1
This freeware helps physicians apply the AAP's recomendations for the managment of Neonatal Jaundice.
In the latest version, the author has incorporated the 2004 AAP recomendations and includes a nomogram for term newborns.

I mentioned version 1.0 back in May 2004. And no, the author Tim Allen still hasn't included a bilirubin checking module in the updated version :)

Friday, August 06, 2004

More survival guides

From Handheldmed:

The CCU Intern Pocket Survival Guide, 2nd Edition
The Oncology Intern Pocket Survival Guide

Now how did I survive Internship without all these pocket guides, heheh.


Ectopic Brain recently pointed out a Palm vs Pocket PC comparison. For those of you still undecided or have spent too long on the PPC camp you might be interested to know Leo of has just discovered how much faster it is to sync his Tungsten E compared with his PPC.
What matters to me most is efficiency. I hate wasting time looking at an "hour glass" waiting for programs to load. I want snappy responses and snappy results. My Tungsten T3 serves me very well and I dare say it is the fastest PDA in the market today. It's not about Mhz - it's the OS as well. Critics say there is no "multi-tasking" but the truth is multi-tasking several things on the PPC will slow it down to a crawl. I much prefer PalmOS' task-switching. How much can you do on a PDA-sized screen anyway?
Let's face it. Most of us doctors are impatient people. We hate to wait. We want our devices to be efficient. And in my mind, PalmOS in this respect does the job well. No contest.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Breastfeed 1.10

Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition has developed Breastfeed 1.10, a free PDA reference for supporting breastfeeding mothers.
The features include:
Approach to Early Breastfeeding, an evidence-based algorithm for evaluation and triage of breastfeeding in the first 2 weeks of life; Medications, a database of safety information on commonly used medications, together with general guidelines on safe prescribing for lactating women and references to review articles; Making Milk Is Easy, talking points for new mothers from the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition patient handout and Information on the World Health Organization 10 Steps for Baby Friendly hospitals and the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
Thanks to Ectopic Brain for the tip.

Survival guide and 500 posts

I didn't realise it till today but yesterday I made the 500th post on this blog. I started the Palmdoc Chronicles on November 21, 2002 and that makes this blog 616 days old and an average of 1.23 days per post.
Enough of blog trivia. Handheldmed has released a couple of Survival guides:

The ACLS Pocket Survival Guide
The Intern Pocket Survival Guide

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Skyscape has released PCGuides 7.01 which is the PDA version of Current Practice Guidelines in Primary Care.


Handheldmed has released some Pearls on Palmgear:

Obstetrical Pearls, 1st Edition
Surgical Pearls, 1st Edition

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

PIC on ePocrates' MCRS

News of ePocrates' Mobile Clinical Reference Suite has found it's way into this PalmInfoCenter story.
Are you an ePocrates's Suite user? I would be interested to hear your opinion/mini-review.

New titles from Handheldmed

Handheldmed has released the following in Palmgear:

Davis' Guide to IV Medications, 3rd Edition
Davis’ Guide to IV Medications is now available for your Palm or Windows CE handheld device. Access 268 intravenous drugs in a consistent, well-organized format. Each entry provides information on administration, clinical precautions, lab test considerations, pharmacological profiles, and adverse reactions for all ages of patients. Included are numerous appendices of schedules of controlled substances, tables and formulas, and various guidelines and test values. This third edition covers recent infusion control devices, and precautions for geriatric patients.

A2Z Drug Facts and Comparisons, 2nd Edition
Handheldmed’s handheld version of A to Z Drug Reference is an alphabetically organized drug reference that integrates successful drug therapy and patient care. Included is up-to-date information on more than 4,500 Rx, OTC, investigational, and orphan drugs. Drug information is indexed to allow easy access to indications, contraindication, dosage, interactions, adverse reactions, precautions, admin/storage, assessment, and education. This edition will increase your knowledge and confidence regarding the drugs you prescribe.

Nursing Care Plans, 4th Edition

This book has comprehensive guidelines for the nursing care of total patient needs. There are 112 care plans by medical disorder so students can adapt to their needs. Included are comprehensive rationales for every intervention, and covers all patient needs – physical, cultural, sexual, nutritional, and psychosocial. In addition there is updated information on herbal products, including potential interactions with prescription and OTC medications.
The Handbook shows the reader how to document for government regulations and third-party payers. Included are the latest JCAHO and ANA standards, DRGs with projected mean length of stay, and uses new and revised nursing diagnoses with updated terminology

The Merck Manual of Geriatrics, 3rd Edition
The definitive title for those specializing in the care and treatment of the geriatric population. This reference will find heavy use among internists, family physicians and others who increasingly find their patient base to be aging.
With contributions from over 150 leading authorities, the information is tightly edited and succinctly organized into 16 sections with 134 chapters. This current edition of The Merck Manual of Geriatrics reflects the vast amount of new information that has been learned about geriatric care since its last edition. Geriatrics and gerontology continue to be fertile ground for research, and the latest information in the field is now available instantly, at the point of care on your handheld computer or personal digital assistant running either the Palm or Windows CE operating system.