Saturday, March 7, 2009

Medical Students and PDA SmartPhones

What percentage of 3rd and 4th year medical students have either a PDA or a mobile smartphone? I would guess that number is very high, especially since many schools now require it. They require students to carry a PDA (either running Palm OS or Windows Mobile) so they can record patient encounters, procedures, etc. Several years ago, the dominant operating system was the Palm OS. I'm not sure what the case is right now. Are medical schools developing software that is compatible for the new Palm OS (which will be running on the Palm Pre), RIM/BlackBerry, and Apple iPhone? I'd have to think that it makes more sense to make everything web-based. This way, you can have any device you want. Most hospitals have Wi-Fi, so as long as you can get connected, you can enter all your information. As the iPhone becomes more common among medical students, residents, and attending physicians, there is a growing need to develop medical software. Or, will everything become web-based? It's difficult to multi-task if all your applications are dependent on a web browser.

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