Many physicians and other healthcare professionals have adopted mobile devices as added tools for their everyday practices. In the past, Palm OS hardware and software dominated this vertical market. With the migration of these users from Palm products to Windows Mobile, the offerings for these devices are increasing dramatically. The listing below is by no means complete.
If I have missed one of your favorite programs, please email me, or better yet, go to my new blog at Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine (http://www.smartphonemag.com/blogs) and select "Ed Zabrek".. My blog goal is to keep those interested in Windows Mobile and healthcare updated on the latest offerings of Windows Mobile devices, as well as to share your reviews and comments on what you find useful in your practice. I am hopeful that this forum will be a useful method for all healthcare professionals to keep updated with the latest software (and hardware) that will allow us to practice the safest, best medicine possible.
The ePocrates drug reference has been available for Palm OS devices for a long time. In fact, many physicians bought Palm devices just so that they could use it. Now ePocrates offers their more robust subscription products on the Pocket PC. These include ePocrates Essentialsâ€”"All-in-one guide to diseases, drugs and diagnostics". The Epocrates Essentials premium suite includes the Epocrates Rx Pro, including IV compatibility and drip rate. There are additional free features and services including DocAlert messaging and MobileCME.
Skyscape offers the largest and broadest selection of professional titles for mobile devices. They publish over 250 references covering all medical specialties from over 30 major publishers (including Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Elsevier Health Science, and many others). (See the review in this issue, as well as my review at http://www.smartphonemag.com/_archives/may04/PortableMedicalLib.aspx.)
Up To Date (http://www.uptodate.com)
If Mobile Merck Medicus gives doctors the latest medical journals, and Skyscape provides them with the most current, up to date text reference information, then what's left? Up to Date! This subscription service allows practitioners to research and obtain the latest peer-reviewed information in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days as with the typical Medline search. A panel of over 250 physicians review the content obtained from Up to Date quarterly, guaranteeing that the most accurate, current and complete information is available. This product is one of the few healthcare solutions that work on the Smartphone. It has become an invaluable tool in my daily practice.
Mobile Merck Medicus from Merck (http://www.merckmedicus.com)
Mobile Merck Medicus is one of the newest entrants into the mobile healthcare world, and when it was introduced it instantly became one of my favorite mobile healthcare tools. The product includes medical journals, the complete Merck Manual, and the "Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, 4e"; all at no cost to the user. Not only is it free, but it includes no advertising or marketing bias. It is supported by educational grants from Merck Pharmaceuticals. This suite of programs is customized for each individual physician user. This is an astounding software solution that keeps me up to date with my latest journals. It's also a great reference! No doc should have a Pocket PC without Mobile Merck Medicus on board.
Mobile Merck Medicus
Mobile PDR from Thomson Healthcare (http://www.pdr.net)
The Mobile PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) is another free software title for the Pocket PC (and Palm OS devices). I commend Thomson Healthcare for bringing the "gold standard" drug reference guide to mobile devices. (Note: If all you need is a PDR, this is a great product. If you need a PDR with specialty-specific information and text links, I recommend the Skyscape PDR.)
Lexi-Comp's Drug Information Handbook is a complete database of over 5200 drugs, listing them by both generic and brand names. The information for each drug is complete with important information on use, dosage, contraindications, interactions, pregnancy implications, nursing instructions, therapeutic category, and more.
Another company offering such references as the Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy, Tarascon's Pocket Pharmacopoeia, Medical Imaging Consultant, Principles of Surgery Companion Handbook, Medical Student's Pocket Reference and others.
Electronic health records/charge capture
Touchwork and TouchScripts from Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (http://www.allscripts.com)
Allscripts offers an incredible Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and e-prescribing (TouchScript.NET) solution. (See my review at http://www.smartphonemag.com/_archives/sep01/eHealthcare.asp.) TouchWorks has been a winner of many healthcare industry awards, including the Microsoft Healthcare User Group (MSHUG) annual award. They offer one of the most complete packages in the industry. They've maintained a first-class solution in the face of the "dot com" stock market collapse and the demise of nearly every other eRx company. AHS has been a true survivor and a consistent winner.
ObGynPocketPro from ObTechs (http://www.obtechcorp.com)
This program was developed by a full-time practicing Ob-Gyn. I have found it invaluable. It even works in landscape mode on my Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition devices, indicating to me that ObTechs is keeping their software up to date (see complete review on page in PPC MAG 2-05)
PEPID (Portable Emergency and Primary Care Information Database) (http://www.pepid.com)
Designed by an ER physician at Northwestern Medical School for ER physicians, this product offers reference solutions for healthcare professionals on for your Pocket PC.
PatientKeeper, NextGen, Cerner Mobile Millennium, StatCoder, MobileClinician, eMD2, and others. (Note: I would love to hear from other users implementing Windows Mobile EHR, eRX, and other software I have not mentioned. I encourage you to go to the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine blog site, (http://www.smartphonemag.com/blogs), and drill down to my blog and add your input to this list.
Indispensable tool for OB-Gyns
AirStrip OB (http://www.airstripob.com)
This offers portable, real-time fetal heart/maternal contraction monitoring on your Pocket PC Phone Edition. It's available on Labor and Delivery units using GE Healthcare's central fetal monitoring stations. This is truly a state-of-the-art technology allowing obstetricians to use Windows Mobile devices to remotely monitor fetal heart tracings, maternal contraction patterns, and other critical, real-time data from labor and delivery units.
I am hopeful to never again hear from my colleagues, "There is no software available for Windows Mobile hardware that compares with Palm OS software." The future is bright for the healthcare vertical, and will be enhanced by the developers continuing to work to make medical practices safer for patients through the use of these products.