The Palmdoc Chronicles

Thursday, April 27, 2006

UMASS Nursing Students Gain Confidence

UMASS Nursing Students Gain Confidence, Experience with Skyscape Medical References for PDAs

LOWELL, Mass. & MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – April 26, 2006 - UMASS nursing students at Boston and Lowell campuses are trading literally thousands of pages of medical reference texts for a state-of-the-art digital solution that puts the information, and more, right into the palms of their hands.
UMASS faculty and librarians observed that nursing students relied on medical reference books, many of which were bulky and heavy and not easily carried into the clinical setting.
UMASS Boston systems librarian Apurva Mehta and UMASS Lowell systems librarian John Callahan and assistant professor Patrick Scollin got together to see if there was a better way to utilize technology to make this information available at the point-of-care.
“Nursing is a hands-on discipline and learning shouldn’t be restricted to a library. So Patrick and I put our heads together with Apurva, and set out in search of a way to help the students better access the material,” said John Callahan.
“Our goal,” said Patrick Scollin, “is to allow students to access information inside and outside of the classroom – as well as in a learning environment like their clinical rotations – where they really need the information on-hand.”
While researching the options, the team at UMASS applied for and received a state grant for $18,000, and so began the PDA loan program at the campus library. Once word spread students quickly began signing up to borrow and use PDAs while on clinical rotations.
Now in the second year there are 35 PDAs for loan at both UMASS Lowell and Boston campus libraries. Five PDAs are held by professors instructing nursing clinical classes and 30 are available for loan to students at each library. There are 17 Skyscape medical references that were purchased for use on the Palm PDAs, some of those include:

Evidence Based Diagnosis
Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult
Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnosis, Intervention, and Rationales.

UMASS chose Skyscape medical references for PDAs because of the patented smARTlink™ technology. With this system - offered only by Skyscape - when a topic of interest is selected, the smARTlink™ technology searches all other Skyscape applications on the PDA to cross reference the material and provide instant access to all information on that topic. This enables nursing students and professors to quickly access information on diseases, symptoms, and prescription drugs at the tap of a stylus – which is not physically possible with print text.
The benefits of using the PDAs are seen by student and registered nurses alike – especially when the students use them while in clinical at the hospital. “We’ve heard of situations where students are on rounds using their PDAs and the nurses are so curious that they rush over to borrow the students’ PDA to check out the applications,” said John. “It’s really amazing; we never dreamed that we’d see such an overwhelming response.”
And the students rave about the features constantly, added Patrick, “With easy access to reference material, students are smarter when with patients and able to provide better quality care, plus the reduction of possible errors by utilizing smARTlink, the students go on and on.”
According to John Callahan, “The PDAs loaded with Skyscape references satisfy a professional goal for the students, similar to a stethoscope or medical book. And they don’t want to give them up, so Skyscape instituted a discount program for students who want the references on their own PDAs.”
With the loan program at the library, and with teachers using the PDAs with Skyscape references to teach classes, the students’ use of the technology is being reinforced on all fronts.
“We couldn’t be happier with the program, it has really become a resource that students expect,” said Patrick Scollin. “But most importantly, is that they are becoming confident with the tools that ultimately will enable them to become successful nurse professionals. We’re looking forward to continuing the program into 2007 and beyond.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Little Black Book of Primary Care, 5th Edition

Skyscape Introduces “Little Black Book of Primary Care, 5th Edition” for Handheld Devices

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – April 24, 2006 – Skyscape, Inc., the leader in mobile point-of-care decision support solutions, today announced the release of “Little Black Book of Primary Care, 5th Edition” formatted specially for PDAs and smart phones.

“Little Black Book of Primary Care, 5th Edition” is designed to be a very portable manual with heavily referenced, concise, practical, clinically relevant information. It contains common clinical practices, personal "pearls", as well as and most importantly, literature-debated issues. Over 6000 very specific references for virtually every aspect of clinical primary care make this reference unique among similar medical manuals.

“Little Black Book of Primary Care, 5th Edition” is an essential resource for healthcare practitioners. Skyscape’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface, smARTlink™, provides practitioners with instant access to critical information at the point of care. This reference is a powerful decision support tool that helps reduce medical errors and enhances the quality of patient care.

The reference is written by Daniel K. Onion, MD, MPH, FACP, and joins Skyscape’s portfolio of more than 300 trusted references in over 35 medical specialties. Available for purchase and download from Skyscape at: www.skyscape.com/LBBPCPR506. For Palm OS® 3.5 or higher, and Windows Mobile™ 5/Pocket PC 2002/2003. Cost $44.95; a free trial version is available.

Monday, April 24, 2006

About Palmdoc

After reading Clinical Case Blog's excellent How Can a Doctor Use Google Page Creator? ,
I decided to give it a shot and can concur that Google Pages is very easy indeed.

So as a more elaborate "About me", I present

Palmdoc's Home Page

Waddya think? ;)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Handbook of Pharmacology and Physiology in Anesthetic Practice, 2nd Ed.

Handbook of Pharmacology and Physiology in Anesthetic Practice, 2nd Ed. is a new release in Palmgear
Delivers instant access to the most critical information and provides fast facts on the pharmacology of commonly used anesthetic agents and on the physiologic responses of the body to anesthesia.
Whether you’re a resident preparing for Board exams or an experienced clinician searching for a critical piece of information needed for a surgical procedure, this reference has what you need.

Key Features:
  • Timely coverage addresses the full spectrum of anesthetic agents with detailed information on pharmacology, mechanism of action , physiologic response, indications, contraindications and more
  • More than 250 tables distill vital information for at-a-glace review
  • A wealth of illustrations suppose the content and provide a quick visual reference
  • A separate drug index helps you locate essential data on both established and emerging anesthetic agents
  • New interactive flowcharts: Now, complex algorithms and protocols are transformed from static images into dynamic step-by-step decision support tools. See how this innovative feature can quickly and easily walk you through even the most intricate decision models.

Treo rumours again

Not long more till the rumoured May 15 announcement of the Treo700p..
But I spotted Treo Today's blog on another rumour: next Treo 650 firmware update coming?
The features which excite me the most:
- FAT32 support (Allows use of the new 4GB SD cards)
- Updated Bluetooth support. (New handsfree devices)
- Pocket Tunes will replace Realplayer
- WiFi drivers for Palm’s WiFi card

I've got an unused Palm SD Wifi card - unused ever since I moved on to the Treo650 from my Tungsten T5.
I was recently at a GCP course in a beautiful tropical resort (hence the blogging silence the past 5 days).. see pic below taken with my Treo650:

kk

The hotel had free Wifi, wonderful I thought as I had brought along my Dell Axim x50v. Although I neglected to take along the Dell charger, I had a charged spare battery. As fate would have it, the wretched PPC crashed while I was on the second battery and sucked all the juice out of it.
My Treo650 with it's GPRS Internet connection was used the most as with it I could maintain contact using my email and IM. Now if it only had Wifi too. I hope the rumours of the update are true!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Obstetrics Gynecology & Infertility now available for your PDA

The “Little Red Book” that you stuff into your lab coat every morning is now available for your Palm or Pocket PC device. Obstetrics Gynecology & Infertility, 5th Edition is a concise, easy-to-use handbook for clinicians and a survival guide for Ob/Gyn residents and medical students. It provides useful information for immediate patient care, as well as a basis of practical knowledge for a career in obstetrics and gynecology.
Obstetrics Gynecology & Infertility has been a trusted reference for 10 years and is now more complete than ever. For the first time, this valuable reference now contains information on the subspecialties of maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology, and gyn-oncology, as well as a broad base of general medicine information which reflects the changing emphasis of Ob/Gyn as it expands to include primary care for women.
The reference contains an abundance of information and is now available from the convenience of your Palm or Pocket PC device.

Features:

* Utilize over 200 tables, flowcharts and figures
* Find what you're looking for in the comprehensive index
* Conveniently jot down notes within program content
* Jump straight to frequently viewed information using bookmarks
* Examine several operative reports for support information
* Reference the "Spanish Primer" to help resolve a language barrier
* Utilize a full list of common lab values

Monday, April 17, 2006

Prentice Hall Nurse’s Drug Guide 2006

Skyscape Introduces “Prentice Hall Nurse’s Drug Guide 2006” for Handheld Devices

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – April 17, 2006 – Skyscape, Inc., the leader in mobile point-of-care decision support solutions, today announced the release of “Prentice Hall Nurse’s Drug Guide 2006” formatted specially for PDAs and smart phones.

“Prentice Hall Nurse’s Drug Guide 2006” is a comprehensive guide providing safe, effective, current, and accurate drug administration information in a quickly accessible format. The fully revised 2006 edition includes the latest drugs approved by the FDA with key nursing implications highlighted throughout. This is the only drug guide to include Prototype Drugs for easier learning.

The “Prentice Hall Nurse’s Drug Guide 2006” is an essential resource for healthcare
practitioners. Skyscape’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface, smARTlink(TM), provides practitioners with instant access to critical information at the point of care. This reference is a powerful decision support tool that helps in reducing errors and enhances the quality of patient care.

The reference is published by Pearson Education - Prentice Hall and joins Skyscape’s portfolio of more than 300 trusted references in over 35 medical specialties. Available for purchase and download from Skyscape at: www.skyscape.com/pndg06pr506. For Palm OS(R) 3.5 or higher, and Windows Mobile(TM) 5/Pocket PC 2002/2003. Cost $45.95; a free trial version is available.

Nephro

Spotted in Freewarepalm: Nephro v3.9 is application specially for nephrology based problems.

More medical schools requiring PDAs

Yes. PDAs are not dead - they are thriving. At least in the medical community.
More medical schools requiring PDAs (via Palmaddicts)
Some interesting stats
- 28% percent of medical schools require students to have PDAs, according to the most recent survey by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the schools‘ accrediting organization.
- any more students use them voluntarily, according to Epocrates‘ research.
- Half of all physicians owned a PDA in 2004, according to the most recent survey by the American Medical Association and Forrester Research Inc.

They should be trained to use PDAs intelligently though. Not solely rely on the Palmomental Reflex!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Toxnet PDA

The National Library of Medicine's TOXNET databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases is available on your PDA for free, and you don't have to run a separate client program. All you got to do is point your PDA's browser to Toxnet PDA.
LactMed is a more recent addition to Toxnet and is a "peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed". It's not yet available in the PDA version of Toxnet but I sure hope it will be, as that would be a useful free tool for healthcare workers with PDAs.

Friday, April 14, 2006

New Skyscape releases

Mosby's Nursing PDQ ( MosbyPDQ™ ) 8.0.x
Summary: This reference gives rapid access to hundreds of important facts, formulas, charts, conversions, & more - all necessary to deliver safe & efficient nursing care. It is Practical, Detailed, Quick.

Natural Standard ( NatStan™ ) 8.0.1
Summary: Natural Standard ( NatStan ) - Founded by clinicians and researchers to provide high quality, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Treo as a wireless Holter

From PDA Transmits Data In A Heartbeat

The soon-to-be-commercialized Bio-Patch Wireless Holter Monitor is a full 12-lead, wireless monitor that measures, records and transmits physiological signals associated with a patient’s cardiovascular system. The Bio-Patch is attached to a patient's chest (where it resembles a large capital-letter “I”) and consists of six electrodes embedded in a disposable bandage-like strip.

The Bio-Patch uses the EASI lead placement to capture electrical impulses of the patient's heart and it transmits this information via Bluetooth to the patients Bio-Patch PDA, which initially is a Palm Treo. The Treo receives, records and stores the electrical activity of the patient’s heart. Every two to four hours, the recorded information is sent wirelessly via Cingular’s network to Telzuit’s monitoring station in Orlando, where it then evaluated by a medical professional. The Holter procedure typically lasts between 24 and 48 hours."

A couple of updates

Spotted in Palmgear:

Davis's Drug Guide with Auto-Updates 2.1
Davis's Drug Guide, has been extensively updated and is now more versatile and portable than ever! Download Unbound's new version of this best-selling drug reference to a PDA for use on the go. Access your Drug Guide on the Web using a desktop computer or an internet-enabled device such as Treo or BlackBerry!

The Little Black Book of Gastroenterology, 2nd Ed

Thoroughly revised and updated, this latest edition provides comprehensive, concise, evidence-based information on the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal and liver disease. The Little Black Book of Gastroenterology is a convenient resource offering quick access to vital information and makes a great reference for solving pressing problems on the ward or in the clinic.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

RSS feeds Update and The Next Small Thing

So how do you get by your daily fill of reading stuff from the Internet - medical or otherwise. I sure hope you are using RSS feeds, 'cos that's the most efficient way to cover blogs, news sites, medical sites, and even some journals which support it.
I still use Plucker and Sunrise (btw, there is a great Sunrise XP tutorial from MobileRead if you want to try it out) on my Treo650 - which is more than enough for me usually since I can take the feeds with me after fetching them every morning, and read then anytime, anywhere.
For realtime RSS feeds, there are PalmOS and PPC newsreaders which will allow you to fetch the feeds as long as you have an Internet connection (via GPRS/Edge or Wifi).
Well the good news is you don't have to resort to running yet another app on your PDA, eating up more precious Ram (something the Treo650 is short of). Well, thanks to tips from Jeff Kirvin in the Treocentral Forums, there are are lots replacements for apps you can run on your PDA using just your browser!
The cue I got from that is to use Bloglines, which has a Mobile version. Here's a snapshot of Bloglines running on my Dell Axim x50v on PIE, showing the BMJ RSS feed:

bloglines

I'm a Bloglines convert! Goodbye Sharpreader, Medreader or whatever RSS reader you use on your PC, and hello Bloglines!
To help you on the way, I have put a small Subscribe to Bloglines button on the left hand panel of this page.

Handbook on Injectable Drugs, 13th Edition

Skyscape Introduces “Handbook on Injectable Drugs, 13th Edition” for Handheld
Devices


MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – April 10, 2006 – Skyscape, Inc., the leader in mobile point-of- care decision support solutions, today announced the release of “Handbook on injectable Drugs, 13th Edition” formatted specially for PDAs and smart phones.

“Handbook on Injectable Drugs, 13th Edition” is a dynamic new mobile tool that makes it quick and easy to check the compatibility of drugs. Once you enter a selected drug product, clear compatibility and stability results are displayed so you can quickly take clinical action based on this comprehensive and trusted guide that that has long been a must-have resource for health care professionals. Over 2,400 reference itations reveal the evidence base for each decision. No other drug reference examines drug stability and compatibility in such extensive detail.

“Handbook on Injectable Drugs, 13th Edition” is an essential resource for healthcare practitioners. Skyscape’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface, smARTlink(TM), provides practitioners with instant access to critical information at the point of care. This reference is a powerful decision support tool that helps in reducing errors and enhances the quality of patient care.

The reference is published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and joins Skyscape’s portfolio of more than 300 trusted references in over 35 medical specialties.
Available for purchase and download from Skyscape at: www.skyscape.com/HIDPR506. For Palm OS(R) 3.5 or higher, and Windows Mobile(TM) 5/Pocket PC 2002/2003. Cost $49; a free trial version is available.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

MIMS for PalmOS

Last year I mentioned that MIMS Asia has been developing a version for the Pocket PC .
It seems to me that progress has been slow and based on email correspondence with them, I don't think they will ever develop a version for PalmOS.

Well, let's say if someone wanted to create MIMS for PalmOS. Would it be possible? Hypothetically yes, with a bit of hard work but the tools are there. A hypothetical version (like the hypothetical B.N.F) would look like this:

mimspos

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Free ICD Coding Tool

You can download ICD-9CM Handheld Coding Tool - Version 1.2 with 2006 data for free from PDR.net (via Kidney Notes)

TriageDoc

Looks like medical PDA software authors have found yet another application. TriageDoc by Medical Decisions Software has been released in Palmgear

Application Description

1. May be used for pre hospital or for in hospital triage.
2. Helps triage by sorting patients by tag color, Revised Trauma Score (RTS), Trauma Score (TS) or elapsed time (ET).
3. Does multiple levels of triage from basic tag color to RTS and ET. This helps improve continuity of care to the next level of triage.
4. Has pre hospital run sheet documentation assistance. From [Start Run] , this docutimer keeps tract of events as you document from the call time to scene findings, extraction factors, history, exam, basic treatments and disposition. Provides run summary based on documentation.
5. Has preliminary assistance with some differential diagnosis and biochemical agent identification if the [ Analysis] button appears as a result of documented findings.
6. Has for each patient a summary screen and if the Analysis button comes up on the summary screen, a tap on it will list most likely to least likely biochemical agent identification.. Not all agents are contained in this application as this shareware version grew out of a research version that was designed and tested by first responders.
7. Once the triage task is done, the information documented and the list of patients triaged in sort order is exported to the Palm Memo Pad for maximum portability-print, beam, HotSync.

RSM Handhelds for Doctors meeting

RSM Meeting

I will be attending the Handheld workshop at the Royal Society of Medicine in London tomorrow(6th April). If you are planning to attend, please come and say Hi!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pocket Reference for ALS Providers

Skyscape Introduces “Pocket Reference for ALS Providers, 3rd Edition” for Handheld Devices

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – April 4, 2006 – Skyscape, Inc., the leader in mobile point-of-care decision support solutions, today announced the release of “Pocket Reference for ALS Providers, 3rd Edition” formatted specially for PDAs and smart phones.
“Pocket Reference for ALS Providers, 3rd Edition” is an indispensable resource for Paramedics and EMS responders. Recently updated, this handy field reference is written specifically for Paramedics and offers the most up-to-date information essential to paramedic care.
“Pocket Reference for ALS Providers, 3rd Edition” is an essential resource for healthcare practitioners. Skyscape’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface, smARTlink™, provides users with instant access to critical information at the point of care. This reference is a powerful decision support tool that helps in reducing errors and enhances the quality of patient care.
The reference is published by Pearson Education - Prentice Hall, and joins Skyscape’s
portfolio of more than 300 trusted references in over 35 medical specialties. Available for purchase and download from Skyscape at: www.skyscape.com/ALSProPR506. For Palm OS® 3.5 or higher, and Windows Mobile™ 5/Pocket PC 2002/2003. Cost $29.95; a free trial version is available.

Monday, April 03, 2006

PDAs in the battlefield

I noticed this interesting video of how PDAs and Skyscape medical applications are being used in the battlefields of Iraq (Quicktime format):

pdairaq
(via Docsboard)

I salute those doctors and nurses serving at the battlefront. I can only imagine how trying it must be. I confess the closest I've got to experiencing "war" has been playing simulations like Battlefield 2. Indeed you might see Corporal Palmdoc in the streets of Karkand as a Medic furiously trying to score points resuscitating fallen comrades ;)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spinosum and the Maffucci Syndrome

I was amused to read in Spinosum's blog about how he impressed his colleagues, looking up this obscure Eponym - Maffucci Syndrome - on his PDA.
Just a reminder how useful the freebie Eponyms (for Palm and PPCs) by Andrew Yee is, and of course how vitally useful PDAs are in medical practice today.
There used to be the time when PDAs impressed members of the opposite sex in general, but I can say, they are no longer "chick magnets"... haha...

Back it up

A patient of mine recently lamented the loss of his data on his GSPDA Xplore G88 (a PalmOS phone made in China). This phone does not have an SD slot and he has not been syncing and backing up his phone regularly.
This made me think that perhaps Palm has got it right by moving on to non-volative Ram : you don't lose your data even if the battery runs out. I still remember the bad old days when you notice the charge near critical and you are on a trip and don't have your charger with you. Well those days I relied on backup to SD with utilities like Backupman - this is still my favorite and I am a happy registered user of Backupman. Even with the NVFS, there is a chance you could install some rogue program and result in your Palm going into some endless reset loop. Got your daily backup on SD? No problem. Hard reset and then restore. You're good to go!
I have been using Palm PDAs since 1997 and I am proud to say I have not lost any of my built-in data, the most precious of which is my Contact database.
Message of the day : Back it up! (see also PalmAddicts Back Up)

The Heart Pod

Spotted in ABC7Chicago :


One PDA is helping patients like Lonnie Marshall deal with congestive heart failure. That means his heart has lost the ability to pump blood efficiently.
"Couldn't make it to the mailbox and back without stopping along the way sucking for air and get in the house," said Lonnie Marshall, heart patient.
After antibiotics and steroids failed, Lonnie began taking diuretic drugs to rid the body of extra fluid, and then he became the first American patient to test the "Heart Pod." It's a PDA that measures fluid.
"There's a wire that goes into the heart and a very small can which can be used to extract information," said Dr. William Abraham, heart surgeon, Ohio St. University Medical Center.
The wire and can are surgically implanted. Then a PDA device reads fluid levels telling patients how much medicine to take.
"We can adjust the dose of the patient's water pills to alleviate the congestion before they get into trouble and before they end up in the emergency department or the hospital," said Abraham.


Well the expanding use of PDAs, medical and otherwise continues to amaze me. Add this one to the list of the Many Many Uses of PDAs!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

PalmPDF updated

PalmPDF, the great free PDF reader for Palm has been updated to version 1.2
I'll be trying this version as I noticed a bug with the earlier version where if you try to reduce the Ram consumption by selecting the Move to Card Option, there is an increased instability in my Treo, in particular when running Backupman. With the entire app in Ram it's OK. Hope this version fixes things.
Anyway I use PalmPDF to read by articles (mostly Journal articles) on my Treo. Simply great!