As the medical editor of this publication, I am often asked by the healthcare and tech industry to help bring physicians from the 19th into the 21st Century. I receive e-mails from physicians and other healthcare professionals asking my opinion on Windows Mobile hardware and the medical software that runs on these devices. In that role, I was invited by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to be the course director of a hands-on workshop at their 53rd Annual Clinical Meeting.
Nearly 100 ObGyns attended the workshop I called Mobilizing Your Practice with the Latest Handheld Devices, Wireless Technologies and Software! The hands-on component of the course was made possible through the generous efforts of Samsung Telecommunications America, which loaned the course 100 pre-launch SCH-i730 Pocket PC Phone Edition devices. (Dale Coffings review of the device is in this issue.)
This was a first for ACOG, Samsung, and me: no one could have guessed that this course would be an incredible success for ACOG and the attendees; and I must say that I owe it all to the incredible i730.
Dr. Ed Zabrek leads the seminar.
One year prior to the workshop, I approached the ACOG, saying I wanted to give a hands-on workshop demonstrating Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and medical software. Once they agreed, I approached Samsung to see if they would assist my efforts. I chose Samsung since they were the manufacturers of my favorite Pocket PC Phone Edition at the time, the SCH-i700 (see my review at http://www.smartphonemag.com/_archives/sep03/sprint.asp). They agreed to provide the devices, and informed me that they would do their best to provide the latest device available at the time of the course. Later I was informed under NDA that the i730 was likely to be released by that time, and that they would do everything they could to provide it for the workshop.
As the date for the course approached, the i730 had not yet been released for sale anywhere in the world, and production had just begun in Korea. As you can read in Dales review, the i730 has a key feature not available on the i700; Wi-Fi. A major part of the course I had designed included a live Internet connection. Without Wi-Fi, all the i700s would have required activation by Verizon, an extremely expensive proposition. I nervously called my contact at Samsung every day hoping to hear that the i730s were going to be available by the time of my course. Through my contacts efforts, diligence, hard work, and with the cooperation of the factory in Korea, 100 i730s were shipped directly to San Francisco's Moscone Center just four days before the workshop.
The day before the workshop, I got together with the Director of Electronic Resources at ACOG and an i730 expert from Samsung to unpack and set up the i730s.
Seminar participants found a Samsung i730 on each of their desks when they entered the room.
Let the Workshop Begin!
When the 100 physicians arrived, they found an i730 charging at their desk. I had to do everything but tie them up to keep them from picking up or playing with their i730s until instructed to do so. I found that most physicians taking the course had little or no technical skills. All carried cell phones (a prerequisite for an Ob-Gyn) and many proudly showed me their Treo 600/650s.