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US Testing Bioterror Alerts on PDAs

The US Government is testing a system to notify doctors and healthcare providers utilizing PDAs for transmitting urgent information about biological agents. The three-month pilot test is designed to gauge the best ways for federal officials to communicate with front-line clinicians in the event of a bioterrorist attack.

The project will evaluate the use of a system created by ePocrates, the nation's largest physicians' handheld network, for sending an urgent "Doc Alert" message to more than 700,000 front-line clinicians, including more than 250,000 physicians more than 40 percent of the practicing physicians in the United States. The test message will contain a special memo on the highest threat (category A) biological diseases/agents, which include anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, tularemia and viral hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola. The message will also include Web links for clinicians to go to for additional information about diagnosing and treating the conditions caused by the biological agents. Clinicians will be able to save this information to their PDAs for future reference.

The pilot project will be managed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and is designed to complement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's existing Health Alert Network, which was created in 1998 and is used by the Department to communicate directly with more than 25,000 public health officials in the 50 states, eight U.S. territories and seven large cities.

The ePocrates pilot project is being conducted under the auspices of the Council on Private Sector Initiatives to Improve the Security, Safety, and Quality of Health Care.

"This important new project will allow us to harness the power of technology to communicate with many of the doctors, nurses, and other clinicians who will be called on to diagnose and treat patients quickly in the event of a bioterrorist attack," Secretary Thompson of the HHS said. "This will literally allow them to have critical information at their fingertips when they need it mos

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Which OS?

s_n_m @ 3/22/2003 4:02:13 PM #
I hope it is either POS or Blackberry (which would be the most logical really).

"That a fuzzy bug." *pointing at tarantula* "If I had dat bug I'd make a coat outa it!"
RE: Which OS?
gfunkmagic @ 3/22/2003 4:12:05 PM #
Epocrates is currently only available on PalmOS platform, while they are working on a PPC version as well...

RE: Which OS?
PDA Jedi @ 3/22/2003 5:52:42 PM #
The reason why most docs carry around Palm OS handhelds is because ePocrates is only available in the Palm OS. At least for now.

RE: Which OS?
rickyspears @ 3/22/2003 6:58:30 PM #
My boss has been trying to get his primary physician to get a Palm for the last couple of years. He finally bought a Pocket PC. In less than two weeks he took it back to the store and bought a Palm OS device. He said that he preferred the speed and simplicity and intuitiveness of the Palm OS.

Thanks,
Ricky
------------------------
The stylus is mightier than the pen!
RE: Which OS?
ecard @ 3/22/2003 10:57:46 PM #
I'm not sure that I want Microsoft to take care of our lifes!!!
RE: Which OS?
gfunkmagic @ 3/22/2003 11:32:45 PM #
Quote:

"The reason why most docs carry around Palm OS handhelds is because ePocrates is only available in the Palm OS. At least for now."

I wouldn't go THAT far! I use Epocrates, but I wouldn't characterize it as a "killer app". There are many other useful drug ref out there like Lexidrugs etc that are available on both PalmOS and PPC platforms. The main reason why many Docs etc use PalmOS pdas is basically b/c Palm was 1st and thus people are loathe to switch platforms after investing significantly so much time and resources into one. Also any Docs prefer PalmOS pda's IMO is b/c its simple and intuitive which is importatant for very busy health care professionals, many of which are not necessarily technologically inclined. Furthermore, as PalmOS pda's gain more powerful hardware specs in the future, the disparity between PalmOS pdas and PPC's will disappear in that regard. Having said all that, the medical pda segment is one industry niche that PalmOS definitely dominates and will probably continue to do so in the future. But the available software library for both platfroms is becoming increasingly similar...

RE: Which OS?
StudentDoc @ 3/23/2003 3:30:49 PM #
I used PocketPC 2000 and 2002 but I finally switched back to Palm in my second year of medical school, not because of ePocrates, but because there is so much other medical software for the Palm, much of it free. I do use ePocrates and like it (and I was annoyed when it wasn't available for PocketPC), but gFunkmagic is right: its not a killer app. It is a good reference but I have other drug references which are available on both platforms that are much more detailed and comprehensive.
I do find I like the Palm platform better for use at school and in the clinic. I get a lot more done on it than I ever did on the PPC. I really only used the PPC for games or programming and rarely for any real work. Judging from the number of games and lack of useful software released for the PPC, I guess that is all everyone uses the PPC for. I always had the feeling it was just a super gameboy/cool video machine that every teenager wanted. It is far more powerful than the Palm, and I used to argue long and hard about its superiority, but I really haven't met many who use the PPC for more than games or MP3s.
RE: Which OS?
DocGo @ 3/24/2003 5:10:53 AM #
I, too, have used both OS. In fact, my first PDA was a Sharp Mobilon (WinCE OS). Since then, I have used an Ipaq 3800 series and went back to a Palm OS handheld (Palm III->IIIx->Vx->Handera->M505->Clie T 650 ->Tungsten T). I love it's simplicity. I also like the fact that I can beam FREEware programs to other Palm OS handheld users. And yes, there are so much more medical software for the Palm OS...lots of them free.

When in doubt, smile :)
DocGo-presently using Tungsten-T and SE P800

other medical PDA software

ardiri @ 3/23/2003 3:38:23 PM #
while not writing games *g* - i actually do some serious work :)

http://www.drcompanion.com/

its a totally different approach to what is currently available on the PalmOS (especially within the US). the product is launched in Sweden, and, close to release in the UK, USA following. if your going to discuss medical software - might as well know the other software that actually exists *g* not everything is built in the US :)

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

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