Handhelds Catch On with Doctors
The human body is an immensely complicated piece of machinery and the maintenance technicians, generally called doctors, have to keep track of a tremendous amount of information in order to do their jobs well. Increasingly, they are turning to handhelds to help them mange all the data.
Since 1999, the number of doctors in the U.S. using handhelds as an integral part of their everyday practice has almost doubled from 10% to 18% this year. That number jumps up to 33% among doctors under the age of 45.
These figures come from a recent study carried out by Harris Interactive. They go on to predict that about half of all U.S. doctors will be using handheld devices by 2004 or 2005, though not necessarily for business-related purposes.
One of the purposes doctors are using handhelds for now it to keep track of the huge number of prescription drugs and how the interact. This is made much easier by ePocrates, who offers qRx 4.0 for free. This is a database that lists point-of-care information for all of the most commonly prescribed medications, from Abelcet to Zyrtec. It requires about 1.3 MB of memory on the handheld and gets updated regularly. It is being used by over 250,000 physicians.
ePocrates also offers qID 1.0, which allows doctors to find antimicrobial treatment recommendations in five seconds or less without complicated cross-referenced tables. It has concise yet complete information on over 400 bugs and 400 drugs and interfaces with qRx. It is also completely free. It takes up about 700 KB of memory.
At this time, neither application is compatible with removable expansion cards.
Any doctor with a Palm handheld would be well served by at least looking into using these free reference applications.
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