Comments on: More than 50% of US Doctors Use Handhelds

A new survey from a medical software solution company reports that more than half the doctors in the US use a PDA, and among residents and students the percentage is even greater. The study goes on to point out the benefits and productivity enhancements handhelds provide in health care as well as areas for future growth.
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M3wThr33 @ 12/19/2003 12:54:33 PM #
No Palm VS PPC comparisons in the article? I'm shocked.

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation. We're in space.
RE: Eh?
Admin @ 12/19/2003 12:57:42 PM #
I can't find the exact figure to confirm, but I've heard David Nagel say at a press conference before that of Doctors that use handhelds, 75% of them are Palm Powered handhelds :)
RE: Eh?
lordmetroid @ 12/19/2003 1:21:20 PM #
It's not many students in Sweden that uses PDA's from what I know it's only a very small minority...
I can only think of 2 other people that have been using a PDA, and my University is one of the bigger (90k people),
alot of them being medecin/pharmacy student...
It's because Uppsala is the leading in medecin/biochemistry education in Sweden
RE: Eh?
spaskey @ 12/19/2003 2:13:52 PM #
An October 2001 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) found that 81% of the doctors who were using handhelds were using a Palm-powered device, versus 7% for PPC.

RE: Eh?
atc24 @ 12/19/2003 7:12:16 PM #
My mom, who's a doctor, and most of her colleagues use Palm OS. Many things, like drug interactions, can be very quickly checked and kept up-to-date. I know my mom likes POS better than PPC, mostly because the PPC's interface is clumsy (it doesn't look good in front of patients when a doctor takes forever to look something up), and they have less applications.
RE: Eh?
Tuckermaclain @ 12/19/2003 9:43:20 PM #
Palm got in first with all the useful medical software. The fact that I can now buy 5MCC for PPC won't make me switch platforms. The thought of carrying around (and using) a copy of Windows makes me shudder. Palm still has lots (hundreds?) medical titles than PPC. Some are absolutely essential, like MedRules, MedCalc, PregWheel/Pregpro, etc. I don't want all my desktop Outlook junk in my pocket. I don't want to carry the Outlook schedule around that the clinic nurse made. I like my Palm Desktop. Palm now has the upper hand (IMHO) because:
1. Greater penetration of the physician market.
2. More software titles (relevent ones that don't crash--some of the best are free)
3. Simplicity and speed (a T3 will just eat up a PPC in terms of processing due to the OS--and, we're not using 505s anymore) For example, if I want to access some protocol I've written down, I can just click to the memo pad and read. I don't have to open Word with all sorts of bells and whistles distracting me and slowing the thing down--just the sweet Zen of Palm.
4. Incompatibility with PPC. If my buddies have cool Palm software (I have known relatively few docs that carry PPCs) and I want it, then I must use the Palm platform.

I'm guessing that for business users the reasons are the same. Uphill for MicroSoft.

RE: Eh?
jf1991999 @ 12/21/2003 7:55:55 PM #
PalmOS dominates the medical space in the US with more than 80% of the market. Our company sells a prescription writer and does a lot of medical shows. While there was significant PPC momentum 18 months ago that has largely faded away today. I think the release of ARM based PalmOS handhelds is the main reason for this reversal. The PalmOS hardware is now clearly superior to any PPC hardware whereas before is was clearly inferior. The overall ease of use of the Palm is another important factor.

We had been planning to roll out a PPC product but have now put it on hold. If Microsoft doesn't lift their game soon they may find themselves out of the market for good.

RE: Eh?
ardiri @ 12/23/2003 8:14:45 AM #
> It's not many students in Sweden that uses PDA's

as founder/developer for a company who develops medical software in Sweden - i can give you more definitive values :) our product, Dr. Companion ( is currently being used by over 1000 doctors - thats just over 3% of the market. we dont have many competitors. its a hit with doctors; many cannot believe how they lived without it. (also, our package is a bit pricy, but - its not just a single book or so, is a COMPLETE reference library; comprising of 10-15 LARGE books, distributed on SD card)

i think it depends on what they define as 'using a handheld' really is. sure, a doctor could use a handheld for a datebook/calendar - doesn't mean they are using it for medical purposes. our package is specifically for doctors, brining medical references to the palm of their hand - the users who use our system purchased the handheld FOR this purpose.

50% of doctors is a marketing hype. lets find out how many doctors actually use it for *real* medical purposes. and, not just purchase it for their own management use. you know how marketing is. they twist figures. *g*

our product is being launched in the united kingdom within the next few weeks - and, the US market will follow. give me 12 months, and i can give you a more definitive value of how many doctors use handhelds in their every day work. oh well :)

Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer



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