NCU's College of Veterinary Medicine To use the Palm Tungsten C

North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine To Purchase Palm Tungsten C Hanhelds

MILPITAS, Calif., June 3 One of the nation's leading schools of veterinary medicine plans to provide its students with the latest wireless handheld technology from Palm, Inc.. North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh will provide Palm Tungsten C handhelds to all first-, second- and third-year students starting this fall. The handhelds will be used in classroom instruction and to prepare students to use the technology during their fourth-year clinical rotations.

The high-speed wireless device with integrated 802.11 technology (also known as Wi-Fi) met and exceeded the requirements of the college's Mobile Computing Initiative, according to Dan McWhorter, director of web-based instruction, who implemented a successful two-year pilot program built around wireless access.

"The Tungsten C handheld has everything we want -- color, wireless connectivity and the Palm OS platform," he said. "Not only does it fulfill our needs, the speed and 64MB of memory are an added bonus."

"NCSU is recognized as one of the top four veterinary schools in the United States, and its adoption of cutting-edge technology over the last couple of years has other schools taking notice," said Mike Lorion, vice president of education at Palm Solutions Group. "This is a college that will use the capabilities of the Tungsten C handheld to its fullest advantage and find unique ways to advance the use of handhelds in veterinary medical education."

In addition to the technology itself, McWhorter says that DataViz Documents To Go, an application for efficiently managing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, is something that will give faculty an easy way to distribute information to students in a handheld format. McWhorter also says the new transflective screen and the ability to support video are a big plus.

"The College's Biomedical Communication Department produces video, animations and multimedia," he says. "With Kinoma Player and Producer, which ships in-box with the Tungsten C handheld, we can distribute and display a variety of procedures, and virtually anything else students might see in a classroom setting."

The audio capability of the Tungsten C handheld, he says, will be especially effective in helping students learn how to hear heart murmurs and other sounds critical to animal health. The Tungsten C handheld lets them listen to the sounds anytime and become familiar with them.

The handhelds also give students access to a large body of reference works provided by NCSU, such as lab normal values, virus references, medical dictionaries, and drug formularies. Students will use Adobe Acrobat Reader for Palm OS to access the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's policy and procedure manual with an interactive table of contents on everything from what to do if a dog bites during an exam to how to handle the unexpected death of an animal. McWhorter also maintains an extensive website of technical documents in support of the Mobile Computing Initiative.

The handhelds also will eventually be used to interact with UVIS, a new patient records system that will go online this summer, allowing students to access core client information, such as patient histories, pharmacy records and medical images -- all designed to improve care throughout the hospital. McWhorter says the college will continue to use IPoll, an instant polling tool he developed at the college that allows faculty to interact with students, gather opinions and gauge understanding of instructional material.

While students appreciate the benefits of these developments, there is one thing that McWhorter says they warm up to right away -- wireless email. "Once they get up and running on email, they branch out and discover all the other things they can do with their handhelds," said McWhorter.

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