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Which PDA to buy ?

Discussion in 'Tech: Medical Apps, iOS, Android, medical devices' started by gambino, 04.21.05.

  1. gambino

    gambino Junior Member

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    I am about to start my internship and wanted some insight as to which PDA (brand, plam vs. windows) to buy. Also, which programs are essential ? Where would you guys suggest I purchase the PDA and software ? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. Jeff698

    Jeff698 Chief Resident

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    If you're a Mac user (like me) your options are pretty much limited to Palm. For some reason, Microsoft doesn't go out of their way to support the Mac platform on the Pocket PC machines. :)

    I've been a Palm user for years and am pretty happy. I've been oogling a Treo lately but will probably just stick with my boring but useful Palm V.

    I've bought just about every medical app out there and finally gave up on most. The one I ended up sticking with was the ePocrates suite.

    Take care,
    Jeff
  3. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus

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    I too have been lusting after the Treo 650 since it came out. The Treo 600 seemed a little weak as a PDA for my tastes.

    The software keepers for me have been epocrates and PEPID.
  4. Goose...Fraba

    Goose...Fraba Senior Member

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    agreed.....
    Get a treo 650, those things are super fly........ and if you figure a regular old pda cost around 250-350 bucks, the extra hundered bucks or so is worth it for the treo, plus its a cell phone/wireless internet/back massager/shoe shiner/much much more

    as far as software, pretty much everyone I know has EPOCRATES its the bomb, I swear I wouldve killed many patients if it wasn't for that wonderful little program.... :eek:
    Goose
  5. DOtobe

    DOtobe

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    I have a Tungsten T3, which I enjoy greatly. I haven't had any problems with it (well, not counting the time I dropped it and cracked the screen). Epocrates and 5 minute clinical consult are the two programs I use the most (and the Johns Hopkins antibiotic guide when I was on my ID rotation.)

    My residency program buys us palm pilots when we start, so I don't know what I'll have next. :thumbup:
  6. retroviridae

    retroviridae Senior Member

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    This is probably a stupid questions, but for hospitals that don't allow cell phones inside or in the ICU/telemetry can you turn off the cell phone portion of the Treo and keep the PDA part on? Or do you just ignore the whole rule? I see more and more attendings carrying cell phones throughout the hospital anyway.
  7. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm

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    Yes, you can turn off the cell phone portion while using the pda portion (or at least thats one resident told me when I asked him the exact same question).
  8. PTP

    PTP

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  9. USFOptho

    USFOptho Senior Member

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    I'm a hardcore mac user, and the options are not limited to Palm.

    www.pocketmac.com

    The above URL has a program that syncs with a mac.

    The palm support sucks, and the tungstens really suck: no built in wifi (but expandable). The top of the line palm comes no where close to the TOL pocketpc.

    HP used to be the leader, but the HX4700 is comparable to the Dell X50v axim, with the axim being 200 less, having a crappier battery life, but with the extended battery it's fine.

    As much as it pains me to say this, Dell has the best PDA product out there. There are some Japanese and Euro PDA's that excell, but you won't have support, and may have some electronic compatibility issues, additionally, the Japanese characters may throw you off.

    USFOptho

    P.S. Dell Support is just another reason to get the axim x50v; Of course, Macintosh came out with the FIRST handheld of all time, way before its time, and hopefully will get back into the market eventually (like they are with tablet PC's).
  10. Doczilla

    Doczilla Senior Member

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    More programs are being offered on both Windows CE and Palm platforms. I'm very fond of my Sony Clie (too bad they stopped making them this year), so I will probably get a Palm Tungsten next time around. Some good apps:

    ePocrates
    Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy (alt.: Hopkins ABX Program)
    5 minute clinical consult
    Bakerman's ABCs of Interpretive Laboratory Data. This explains various lab tests and what might affect the result. Helpful if you have an abnormal lab result that doesn't fit with the clinical picture (i.e., elevated liver enzymes in a patient without hepatitis)
    Hopkins Opiod Program- helps convert opiod pain regimens when switching therapy (free download)
    Medcalc- all kinds of useful calculations (corrected calcium, cardiac output, etc) (free download)
    Shots 2005- Lists immunization schedules, indications, and contraindications for various populations. Particularly useful for Peds, OB, or FP. Free download at immunizationed.org

    I have 5 minute emergency consult, but there isn't really much in it that I can't find in 5 min clinical consult (and more completely).

    Also, the Palma Sutra is good for entertaining yourself on rounds. :cool:


    'zilla
  11. Jeff698

    Jeff698 Chief Resident

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    Thanks for the URL. Are you able to use the autoupdate features of ePocrates with this? How about installing PPC apps without a PC? Any problems with other update packages like AvantGo?

    Thanks again. Even though I'm a Palm fan, I can see where the market is going. Sniff.

    Take care,
    Jeff
  12. Goose...Fraba

    Goose...Fraba Senior Member

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    Tell me about the palma sutra.....I am intrigued :cool:

    Goose
  13. in4mthsMD

    in4mthsMD Junior Member

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    Need I say that cash flow is kinda low these days. Can you guys feel me on that one? I wonder whether anyone can help with sources or WAYS to get free Epocrates, 5 min consult. I know that JH Antibiotic guide is free to download, but how about the former ones? Any help would be appreciated? Thanks...
    I should change my username to in1mthMD.....hurray.....:)
  14. tRmedic21

    tRmedic21 useless...

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    Since someone asked about this one, yes I have it and it works just fine. I've got no complaints about it. It's got wireless and Bluetooth built in (not that I need either one) and the screen is nice and bright.

    I'd recommend it.
  15. DOtobe

    DOtobe

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    Epocrates is free. There is a "Pro" version that has more features that you have to pay for, but the general epocrates with the drugs, doses, contraindications, adverse reactions, etc. is free.
  16. Jeff698

    Jeff698 Chief Resident

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    I think you can whore yourself out to some pharm companies who will 'sponsor' your subscription to ePocrates Pro. Check their website for more information: www.epocrates.com

    Take care,
    Jeff
  17. Dr. J?

    Dr. J?

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    Just rec'd a Dell Axim X50v's...so far, so good.

    The screen is indeed very bright (although adjustable to your personal tastes). In other posts I've seen on SDN, people say battery life is an issue...although I haven't used it long enough to speak to this.

    One of the first issues I'm noticing is that there seems to be less out there for PPC OS, in comparison to Palm OS. You can get the major programs sure (for $, that is), but many of the free shareware clinical tools are written for Palm OS.

    All in all, I like the interface of the PPC a little better than the Palm interface. I haven't had it long enough to pass judgment on the ease with which one can add/delete programs. Definitely has enough room to drop a bunch of programs on to it (64 MB).
  18. PTP

    PTP

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    How about any issues with "locking-up or freezing"? Ive heard they sometimes do so when running things like 5MCC. Any truth/comments about this?

    Also with the limitations in the software dept is it still worth is to get a non-Palm based PDA (they dont have Wi-Fi right)?
  19. Heeed!

    Heeed! On target, On time!

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    I had the Dell Axim X5 and had some problems with it. So I sold it and upgraded to the HP iPAQ 2755. It is sweet! I haven't had any problems, it's fast, lots o' memory, etc. I highly recommend it.
  20. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Moving to PDA forum...
  21. heldicus

    heldicus Senior Member

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    Axim x50 is highly recommended...and I love having bluetooth and WiFi.
  22. kas23

    kas23 Registered Abuser

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    Can anyone recommend a PDA that DOESN'T have all the bells and whistles? I am looking to get a PDA for my intern year. I just want one that will fit all the basic programs. I don't need to have Harrisson's on it. I don't need it to be a camera (I have a digital camera), I don't need it to be a phone/mp3 player/wife. I just want something very stable and durable (I can drop it, patients can project vomit on it, etc.... I will be connecting it to a Mac. Thanks.
  23. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Check out Palm Zire's.
  24. Zazoo

    Zazoo Member

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    hello all,
    deciding on which pda to get and would be v grateful for some advice! decided on palm OS, and narrowed it down to Tunsten E/E2 or Zire 72.
    just need something to take the place of my diary, and contain medical references. no need for mp3/camera/wifi etc, just want a work tool.
    what are your opinions/experiences with these handhelds, and which would you go for?
    thank you! :)
  25. kas23

    kas23 Registered Abuser

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    Yes, this is a great question. What is the difference between these two. Or, is it just that the Zire 72 has a camera?
  26. Zazoo

    Zazoo Member

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    hey,
    kas23, did a bit more research around them, and the e2 seems to be the best option. the zire 72 seems to be slightly more multimedia orientated, with camera, and slightly faster processor. the e2 has a longer lasting battery (could be useful).
    i don't think they've invented a vomit proof pda yet, :rolleyes: ahh well, we could dream...

    if anyone has any opinions, plz share them

    Z
  27. kas23

    kas23 Registered Abuser

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    Thanks. All I need to do is buy a (non-obsolete) computer now.
  28. CanIMakeIt

    CanIMakeIt Fellow

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    How about Life Drive mobile manager from PalmOne ..... seems like a good buy ........ a little expensive for $425 (on the internet) but not too bad compared to clie
  29. ramonaquimby

    ramonaquimby I'm a PGY3?! WHAT?!

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    bump. dh is presssuring me to make a decision for a pda...i'm researching like crazy, so i figured this thread was worth a bump.

    i've nixxed the t5...seems like it's superbuggy. deciding between tx OR e2+wifi card. eek!
  30. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    I have a T5. It's really not that buggy. Initially I had some problems with it, but after the firmware upgrade, I haven't had a single problem with it. Syncs perfectly fine with my Mac using Missing Sync.

    Can't vouch for the Tx, but I assume it's the same.

    If you can deal with the size, I would get a Treo 650. They're nice, and it's very nice to have a single device for PDA and cell phone. The only reason I haven't bought one yet is that I can't get used to having that huge PDA/phone to my ear. It's hard moving from a Moto RAZR to a Treo to talk on the phone! I'm still tempted to get a Treo though. It's cumbersome toting around all these gadgets.
  31. Zazoo

    Zazoo Member

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    i ended up getting the T5, which i'm happy with. lots of memory :D
  32. starwisher

    starwisher Member

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    What percentage of third years get PDA's? Are there schools that require it or is it just really convenient to have? I figure I will buy one, but I have no idea what the minimum standards for a useful PDA would be. I'm trying to research my options well ahead of time, but I have never even touched a PDA before so I'm not really able to judge what options are important. I'm not really into gadgets for the most part, but I'm kind of excited about getting a PDA and figuring out how to use it. Anyway if someone could let me know what features to look for and how much memory is important to have I'd really appreciate it. My cell phone contract is going to be expiring soon so I'm considering the idea of a palm Treo 650, but I'm wondering if I could get a good quality PDA for a much lower price (I think it would be $299 for the treo with a new phone contract). If the difference would be fifty bucks or something I'd rather have the convenience of only one gadget to carry around with me, but if I could get a reasonable PDA for around $150 I'd rather save the money and end up with a separate phone. Also does anyone know what stores have employees that are knowlegable about the differences between different PDA's? I figure even if I get good advice here I'll want to go to a store and try out a few different models where the staff can help me figure out what exactly I need.
  33. DOctorJay

    DOctorJay

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    I'd say the lowest model in Palm you would want to go is Tungsten E2, looks like that may be phasing out in favor of the TX though. I believe they are in the 200-250 range so it sounds like that may bump you into the treo category. the 650 is real nice and a new 700 just came out that is windows based (not sure if you can still use palm programs but I'd be surprised if you can't).

    if your hospital has wifi you probably want to be able to access it. in terms of external storage i think anything less than 256mb would be a waste of money. you can get loads of medical apps and as soon as you get isilo on the thing you'll be uploading books like crazy (at least if you know where to look, haha).

    while you're getting the palm consider a wireless keyboard if you do a lot of typing or still have lectures to attend. it's seriously like having a miniature laptop at your disposal which is extremely convenient for lecture note taking.

    hope this is helpful. I would imagine best buy or circuit city should have some knowledgable reps to help you out (just DO NOT let them sucker you into something you're not ready to buy).

    -J
  34. starwisher

    starwisher Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll definately keep it in mind while I'm looking. I figure I'll probably check out best buy I was just curious if there was someplace that was known for having employees that were very knowledgable about PDAs. I like shopping at best buy, but from prior experience I'd say that a lot of their sales staff doesn't really know much more than the average person about what they are selling.
  35. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier

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    Beware of the new models that come with Windows 5.0, apparently it's very buggy, and the ActiveSync program has problems as well.
    The other problem I have with the Windows units is there's no option to replace PC files (word/excel) with the PDA files and vice versa - so if you modify on one, you wind up with duplicates.
    I'm drawn to the Palm TX for its features, but I don't like its looks (superficial I know, but hey if I'm dropping $300-400 on such a toy). As for the LifeDrive, I've read some bad things about its hard drive unit (slow, fragile etc). Also, I have no use for so much storage.
    Maybe I'll get a Dell and just deal with the lack of file replacement...
  36. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Avec caféine. Gold Donor SDN Advisor

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    I've never had any reason to switch from Palm to Windows Mobile, and I've been working with this stuff pretty much from the beginning (late 1990's). It really boils down to personal preference these days, as the two platforms are now more similar than different. I still think Palm has a noticable lead where usability is concerned, and there is still more software available for Palm compared to WinMob, although most of the most popular apps have versions for both platforms. If I were new to PDAs and still in med school, I'd get a Tungsten E2. It's likely to be all you'll need for a while, and it costs less than $200. If you really think you'll have a need for Wi-Fi connectivity, the TX is an option. It may be overkill for most folks. I use a Treo 650, which is another option if you like the idea of a built-in phone and wireless connectivity through your cellular network provider.

    Hope this helps!
    Kent
  37. dr_almondjoy_do

    dr_almondjoy_do So Very Happy to Be Here!

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    I am a long time treo 600 user, and I am in the process of buying another one. I am stuck between the 650 and the 700w (windows mobile base and 128mb intrinsic memory). I chose the 650 for $299, but the 700w has so many new features for $100 more. I wonder if I made the right decision by going with the 650. I would have stayed with the 600, but verizon will not sell it again. For all intents and purposes, I am so attached to my treo!

    Any thoughts on the 700w versus the 650?
  38. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Avec caféine. Gold Donor SDN Advisor

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    Yeah, the 700w runs Windows Mobile. Bleh. :barf:
  39. DOctorJay

    DOctorJay

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    does anyone know if it (treo 700w) will still support the palm OS software? seems dumb for palm to abandon their own programs just to run windows.

    -J
  40. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    No, it won't run Palm OS software.

    Remember, Palm is primarily a hardware company. The software (Palm OS) is developed by a separate corporation.
  41. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Avec caféine. Gold Donor SDN Advisor

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    Nothing's been "abandoned." The 700w just opens up the Treo market to WinMob users as well (smart move, IMO, even though I don't use WinMob). Palm OS versions of the Treo aren't going away.
  42. 16846

    16846 Guest

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    I wouldn't be so sure about that. Palm Source Inc. was purchased by Access Inc. in Japan, so the Palm OS as we know it may very well be dead. As far as I'm aware, they don't even exist as a seperate entity any longer. Palm One, now just Palm Inc. once again, is still going strong though.
  43. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Avec caféine. Gold Donor SDN Advisor

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    I doubt that ACCESS bought PalmSource so they could kill off the Palm OS. :rolleyes:

    From the original press release :
    "PalmSource is a global leader in mobile device software and the developer of the well known Palm OS operating system," said Toru Arakawa, CEO of ACCESS. "The PalmSource family of software products which run on over 39 million devices, and the PalmSource community of approximately 400,000 mobile application developers, provide an established worldwide mobile software platform. In addition, PalmSource's earlier acquisition of China MobileSoft, a developer of Linux technology, provides the foundation to promote Linux-based platforms for mobile devices. By combining ACCESS' robust NetFront browser platform and its proven business relationships with PalmSource's advanced operating system, application portfolio, user interface and developer communities, we will be able to produce a comprehensive yet flexible solution for the mobile market."
  44. anya79

    anya79 New Member

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    i have a a mac (ibook) and i am trying to decide between Palm TX and Dell Axim X51v. Like others, i am concerned about synchronizing the pda with my computer and having a product that will last me through my clinical years and hopefully beyond. if price is not a deciding factor, which pda would you recommend? how do i decide? based on what i've read, the dell axim has a more powerful processor and internal memory. i know dell has an additional memory slot and i'm not sure if palm tx has one. battery lives seem comparable. some review sites mention that palm tx doesn't have a removable battery and that could be a problem for some (i am not sure why).
    thanks!
    anna
  45. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Avec caféine. Gold Donor SDN Advisor

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    Microsoft has never supported synchronizing Windows Mobile to the Mac. This is only possible through third-party solutions, such as Mark-Space's Missing Sync . For this reason, you may not be able to sync newer devices until if/when the third-party conduits are available.

    The expected useful lifespan of a PDA is approximately 2 years, whatever you buy.

    I rarely have any reason to recommend a Windows Mobile device. Most users could choose either platform based on their requirements, but I feel that Palm OS devices offer a clearly superior user experience, similar to the Macintosh.

    The major reason for this is the additional demands that Windows Mobile places on the hardware. In most cases, observable performance (i.e., how long it takes the device to "do something") is actually slower compared to the Palm OS.

    Yes, it does.

    Neither am I. :)
  46. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    I was a devoted PPC user for a while, but have recently (ok, last year) switched back to PalmOS. Palm seems more stable, faster, and offers more programs than Windows Mobile. I do not have the TX, but I have a similar model (the T5). There were minor bugs associated with it when it was first released, but these have since been corrected in a hardware/firmware update.

    I love my T5! It's fast and has tons of memory. I have a lot of programs loaded on it: ePocrates Essentials, PEPID EM, MedCalc, Eponyms, 5-minute Toxicology Clinical Consult, Sanford Guide, Washington Manual, AvantGo (with numerous webpages), SplashShopper, and more. It loads everything quickly. I still have room for more stuff (UpToDate anyone?).

    Supposedly UpToDate is nearing completion of their PalmOS version of their software.
  47. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Oh, one other thing. I highly recommend Missing Sync, even if you buy a Palm. It syncs much more efficiently than the Palm Desktop program, which is buggy to say the least.
  48. DocNusum

    DocNusum "Heretic"... and "Kafirun

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    Motion Computing LS800 and Treo 650

    EMR on LS800... It fits in a Labcoat pocket....!!!

    DocNusum
  49. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Isn't it time for Palm to be introducing new products? They usually introduct around March/April. Oddly enough, I have heard NOTHING about new lineups for their PDA's. I've only heard about the Treo 700p.
  50. 16846

    16846 Guest

    Joined:
    09.11.02
    Messages:
    10,586
    They probably figured that no one wants to buy another product running the same damn operating system! They are really trying to beat Garnet to death!

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