Hi all! Interesting press release from Palm's web site. dh U.S. Medical Colleges Dump Bulky Reference Books as Palm Handheld Trend Grows SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Sometimes called a "peripheral brain" by medical students, those dog-eared medical references stuffed into lab-coat pockets are being replaced by sleek, expandable Palm(TM)handheld computers in what Palm sees as a growing trend among the nation's medical schools. The Ohio State University College of Medicine, one of the most admired academic medical centers in the country, recently purchased 1,000 Palm m505 handheld computers through technology solutions provider SARCOM, Inc. for third- and fourth-year medical students and residents. Other medical colleges making Palm handhelds a standard include Albany Medical College, Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Responding to a 2000 Institute of Medicine report that says up to 98,000 people yearly die from medical errors occurring in hospitals, some schools are integrating the Palm handheld "peripheral brain" into initiatives to reduce in-hospital errors. With expansion options such as postage-stamp-sized Palm expansion cards, Palm handhelds give medical students easy access to the vast amounts of information they need to absorb and use in preparation for demanding and evolving healthcare environments. "Medical colleges across the nation are adopting Palm handhelds to help improve learning and, ultimately, patient care," said Mike Lorion, Palm's vice president of education. "Palm handhelds continue to offer value long after students graduate, becoming an essential reference and patient-management tool in medical practice." The four schools join the dozens of medical and nursing colleges that have adopted Palm handheld technology, including such top-rated institutions as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, Duke, UCSF, Stanford and Yale. Students are using handhelds in the classroom, at the bedside, and, in some cases, in the field. Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine will provide 50 second-year medical students with Palm IIIc handhelds in their clinical skills courses and labs. Students in the second-year clinical skills course are taking handhelds into Appalachian Mountain areas of eastern Kentucky so they can access medical information resources and records for patients they come in contact with during their hospice rotation and clinical rotations. The school also has purchased Palm m505 handhelds for each of its graduate students to use in their residencies. From rural Appalachia to urban settings, having information when and where students need it is a recurring theme as medical colleges integrate Palm handhelds into their programs. At Albany Medical College, N.Y., 350 residents and 500 medical students will use Palm handhelds -- including m500 and m505 models -- to move health information resources to the point of care. Students will use ePocrates (patient record software) and applications from handheldmed.com, including 5 Minute Clinical Consult. They also will use the handhelds to track procedures they have performed toward completing their residencies/degrees -- for example, how many times they have delivered a baby. Medical colleges eager to begin reaping the benefits of handheld technology are using a combination of home-grown and commercially available software. Even before The Ohio State University College of Medicine has finished its own software development project, it will begin using a variety of commercial solutions, including e-Results from Siemens Medical Systems, middleware from Extended Systems, synching technology from Clarinet Systems and medical applications such as ePocrates patient record software. Technology solutions provider SARCOM, Inc. distributed the Palm handhelds, loaded the software, provided one-on-one training for students and will provide ongoing support for the program. So, how effective are Palm handhelds? Their popularity alone says "very." Medical colleges are conducting research to provide even more data. At the University of Louisville School of Medicine, for example, third-year students are using Palm Vx handhelds to determine the effectiveness of handheld computers in medical teaching and clinical care. The handhelds have been loaded with a special application that tracks the frequency and total time of use for each application. In addition, they came preinstalled with a variety of medical applications, including PatientKeeper, 5 Minute Clinical Consult, iSilo, and ePocrates, from PDAMD.com and PDA Vertical Network. Seventeen other medical colleges conducting similar research can be found at <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/micro/PALM" target="_blank">http://www.prnewswire.com/micro/PALM</a> (see Sept. 6, 2001 release: "Palm Awards Mobile Medicine Grants to 17 U.S. Universities and Teaching Hospitals").