Handheld Computers & Healthcare


The practice of healthcare is evolving rapidly as new information supplants old. Gone are the days when newly graduated practitioners were armed with most of the information they would need for a lifetime of practice.

The acquisition and implementation of new knowledge is greatly enhanced through the use of computerized information management systems.

Good practice techniques require tools to extend the human mind's limited capacity to recall and process large numbers of relevant variables. Computers may be used to support the clinician's practice. However the place of computers in clinical practice depends on whether they confer an overall advantage, and whether they are acceptable to patients and clinicians.

Recent history has delivered one unassailable lesson. Any attempt to use information technology will fail dramatically when the motivation is the application of technology for its own sake rather than the solution of clinical problems.

Much of what has been presented as a solution to clinical problems has come from administration with little or no consultation with the clinician. It is for this reason that most of presented solutions have failed to achieve their stated goals of improved efficiencies and enhanced delivery of healthcare.

Clinicians are best placed to identify possibilities presented by the increasingly flexible and sophisticated technology available. Clinicians have long recognized the benefits of computers in clinical practice, but they are not widely used because of access difficulties. The current systems in place lack one critical feature the ability to deliver data on demand. If you need to interrupt the delivery of healthcare to access data at a stationary PC, you will forgo data access and focus on the more immediate requirement of delivery of care.

Handheld or Mobile computers, by definition overcome the limitation of stationary computer systems to deliver information on demand to those who must apply that knowledge.

Handheld databases are like a colleague or textbook that supports your training, intuition and common sense. Recent developments in the storage capacity of handheld computers have greatly enhanced the ability of clinicians to access data on demand.


© 2001 PDA cortex. All Rights Reserved
IT's Cutting Edge