The Palmdoc Chronicles

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Medical PDA Forums

One of the inevitable aspects of using PDAs is that you'll run into some problem sooner or later and apart from support and help from the manufacturer, another good way to get help is from a fellow PDA user.

If you are lucky enough to have a good friend who uses PDAs you could get personal help but do that too often and you might strain the friendship ;).
For instance, I get enough calls from hospital and the last thing I need is a phone call (especially at odd hours) asking for help in PDA matters!
A better way is to share the knowledge and experience online with other PDA users and online forums are an excellent way to achieve this.

I have revamped the links in the template on this webpage to useful Medical PDA forums which I am aware of. These are sub-forums and I don't know of any specifically Medical PDA only forums but please email me if I missed out any.

* I have started a Medical/PDA Computing sub-forum in the MMR Forums. The MMR Forums are new and will hopefully grow over time and serve the local (Malaysian) medical community well, but everyone from the global village is invited to participate.
* DocsBoard is a US based Doctors discussion site and has an excellent Handheld section. I am also participating there and you can get plently of useful feedback from very experienced medical PDA users in that forum.
* Leo of has linked the Technology (Computing/PDA) section of the Student Doctor Network Forums and this looks like a good place for medical students to visit and discuss PDAs and computers.
* Doctors' Gadgets has a Medical PDA and EMR Forum - it doesn't seem very active but hopefully this blog post will increase traffic there.
* Finally, there's a Palmdoc's Discussion Forum where I'll be posting personal viewpoints and some other links. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you are most welcome to participate and ask questions or post comments there. I'll do my best to answer your queries.

Online forums while being a good thing can be abused. Like anything else, if there are no rules and if anyone behaves as they wish, then it will be no better than a gutter free-for-all community. For this very reason, I have left a local forum and will no longer post or contribute there as long as there are members who don't know how to behave or follow moderation.
For those new to the Internet, email or Forums, you should take sometime to read Netiquette 101 which spells out quite a few rules on decent online behaviour.

So go out there and join the forums but do respect their rules, post responsibly and do contribute to the global knowledgebase on PDAs.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Medical Physics Calculators

Melvin Astrahan has also released Medical Physics Calculators 1.0.1

Application Description

The STP program calculates the atmospheric temperature and pressure correction factor to reference conditions for ion chamber measurements. Other calculators include a gap calculator for adjoining radiotherapy fields and an equivalent square & circle field calculator.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Free brachytherapy calculator

Melvin Astrahan has released a freeware utility:

MammoSite HDR Calculator 1.0.2

Quality assurance calculator for MammoSite brachytherapy implants. Based on AAPM TG-43. Academically developed, not affiliated with Proxima Corp.
Requires MathLib. Freeware

If you are in the Oncology field, you should check out the other freebies by this author, including TNM Staging and TDF Calculator

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nursing Central

Unbound Medicine has launched Nursing Central™

Nursing Central is designed around clinical nursing activities. Two F.A. Davis nursing manuals of diseases and diagnostic testing are at the heart of the Nursing Central package. They are supported by the best-selling Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary and Davis's Drug Guide, the winner of the 2005 Handango Champion Award for Best Industry Application.
Unbound's unique platform adds a powerful search engine, personalized literature retrieval, journal alerts, and PDA, Web and Wireless support. The extensive content and features make Nursing Central an all-in-one mobile solution for nurses whether on the job or in training.

I'm glad software publishers aren't neglecting the Nurses - an important area since I believe PDAs have a big role to play in helping nuirses ni their daily work.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Medical translator

Communicating with patients is of course very important and sometimes one can't wait for the hospital translators. There are some "talking dictionaries" for PDAs but there are precious few designed specifically with the healthcare professional in mind.
Well there's a new software called arpadi® which was developed for just this reason:
it's billed as "a mobile interpreter for Palm OS and Pocket PC, arpadi® enables medically sound, instantaneous communication between doctors and patients of different language affiliation"
arpadi® knows more than 400 of the most important medical formulations and questions used in clinical practice – in 13 languages – which can be read on the display and heard in the native language of the patient!
With the help of arpadi®, doctors are now able to make reliable diagnoses across the language barrier and to coordinate treatment directly with the patient – simply by reaching into a pocket, without having to depend on amateur translations, without the awkward use of dictionaries, and without having to wait for interpreter services!

I hope the software author can extend the translation capability to include Asian languages.
The ultimate tool of course would be a Star Trek like Universal Translator. How far away are we from this dream gadget I wonder?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Williams Manual of Hematology

At long last, someone (Skyscape none other) has released Williams Manual of Hematology in PDA format.
A portable, quick-reference guide with clinical information on over 100 hematologic diseases and their management. Based on the new Sixth Edition of Williams Hematology, this reference presents concise information on etiology and pathogenesis, clinical and lab features, differential diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.


* Etiology and pathogenesis
* Clinical findings
* Laboratory findings
* Differential diagnosis
* Most recent advances in treatment and management

At $44.95 for the desktop/pda bundle I think it's a bargain!

A herb causing low platelets

Recently a patient of mine with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia who is off maintenance treatment now, developed a dropping platelet count. A recent PCR for PML-RARA which detects traces of his leukemia is negative. A drug history shows he has been taking Cordyceps and Milk Thistle.
I looked up the former using Lexi-Natural Products for Palm OS and lo and behold, there is a theoretical effect on platelets. Not all Natural product databases have complete data - and Skyscape's Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database 2005 does not mention this.

Once again, the Palm PDA has come to the rescue when looking up drug information and it is increasingly becoming more useful when dealing with herbal and alternatvie medicines.

I would be interested to hear how using PDA based drug databases have helped you in your daily practice. I'd appreciate if you could head over to my mini-forum and follow-up in this thread (you have to register for free in the forum to participate)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Monday, July 18, 2005

Skyscape Food Guide

Skyscape Food Guide is a free release from the reknown medical PDA publishers.
Based on The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s MyPyramid food guidance system, this handy handheld tool will help you choose the foods and the amounts that are right for you. The Skyscape Food Guide puts all the detailed nutritional and diet information, useful tips, and easy-to-use interactive tools of the USDA's MyPyramid system right into the palm of your hand. Receive personalized guidance on what and how much food to eat from each food group by simply entering your age, gender and physical activity level.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Andrew Schechtman has announced that DermMeister will be released in August 2005.
Its a Dermatology PhotoAtlas for your PDA and to my knowledge it's the first one there is. The great news is that this will be free and it looks to me like it will be another winner for Meistermed.
Great job, Andrew!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Essentials of Diagnosis & Treatment in Surgery

Skyscape has released Essentials of Diagnosis & Treatment in Surgery in Palmgear.

Essential coverage of surgery! This pocket guide features bulleted, high-yield information on over 400 common surgical diagnoses. With key equations and formulae, a clinical pearl per topic, plus references, this reference truly is essential in critical care.
The Quickest Review to Surgical Diagnosis:
* Short, bulleted points for 400 surgical diagnoses
* Key equations, calculations, and formulae
* Includes orthopedic, reproductive, renal, cardiovascular, GI, and respiratory problems; and other common conditions

Has anyone ever seen surgeons refer to PDAs in the OT? ;)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Emergency Room Basics - another independent publisher

Derek Chai has updated Emergency Room Basics 3.01I in Palmgear.
This is an iSilo ebook/document. iSilo is still the defacto reader for a lot of medical references (Mobipocket's reader is also compatible). Publishing text in iSilo format is a cinch using the free iSiloX converter.
Pacific Primary Care are already successful publishers. There are also lots of iSilo books (many free) available from MeisterMed's iSilo Medical Depot.
I think if you are a medical doctor serious about carrying medical references with you, iSilo is a must.
You should also think about converting your own references to iSilo format. You could share it with others or even become a publisher yourself!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Davis's Drug Guide with Auto-Updates 2.1

Davis's Drug Guide with Auto-Updates 2.1 has been updated in Palmgear

Davis's Drug Guide, the best-selling drug reference produced by F.A. Davis, is now delivered via Unbound Medicine's award-winning handheld platform. This comprehensive and up-to-date resource provides need-to-know information on thousand of brand name and generic drugs.
Via Unbound Medicine's CogniQ" platform, this leading drug reference will stay up to date simply by synchronizing your handheld. There is no need to download large installer files and re-install the entire application, as is required by other products. Instead, only new or changed medications will be sent to you quarterly, and they will be downloaded automatically the moment they become available!

Just in case you missed the news, this application won the Handango Champion Award Winners for Best Industry Application this year.
Congrats, Unbound!