01/12/2009, 06:12 PM
Nesta, just because you don't understand a need for a PDA OS doesn't mean it isn't real. Palm OS PDA's are not out of date. They do exactly what we users want. And we users are doctors. In the several places I have worked I'd say 50-80% of physicians carry PDA's. We need PIM stuff like calendar and contact lists and to-do lists, and even more so, we need medical information at our fingertips. We don't need flashy web-connected devices. We don't need to play movies. The ability to look up cardiac management issues and then look at jpg baby pictures of my son is just a bonus. Early on in the days of ePocrates (the prescribing guide to all available medications), ePocrates cited 600,000 users -- and that was back when Palm OS was it and PocketPC was a recent upstart. Of course the Palm OS creaked under the weight of being welded to a telephone and then an internet browser. I can see how it is desirable to carry all the new possible functions of a mobile connected computer in a single slick device like an iPhone or a Pre. But you are simply wrong that no one wants a pure PDA. In fact, the vast majority of folks I know with PDA's have stand alone Tungsten TX or E2's.
Originally Posted by Nesta
All the crap with required 2 year contracts now will terribly complicate the business of trying to get a simple PDA device to supply medical information needs at my fingertips. Last Spring I got approval for a little project to put Tungsten E2's in the pockets of our new physician trainees from day one of their training. With a volume purchase of refurbs from Palm plus expansion cards, I bought 10 and had the whole thing ready to go on July 1st for $1500. Now look at my options for this year's 10 trainees. Say I want to get them iPhones or Pre's (never mind that our organization's contract happens to be with Verizon, not AT&T or Sprint). At $200 for the device plus 2 year contracts for phone & data service at appx $100/month, that's a $26,000 project. And what a waste, since all these young 26-30 year old trainees already have their own cellphones and contracts when they arrive, so they don't need one from me. What they need is a tool to help them learn and practice medicine, and a tool on which to learn medical information resource management. I might buy 10 more E2's this Spring, I might have to buy 10 iPod Touches.
I get it, Pre is very cool device, it represents Palm's future. But it's a year or more away from having the medical resources that us longtime physician heavy Palm PDA users need.