Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Mobile doctors : All You Need To Know

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PDAs and smartphones are making the life of doctors much easier, with fast access to medical digital libraries and storage of complex files. Doctors can also access drug reference databases, treatment guidelines, clinical and medical references, product updates and medical news.

Even though PDAS and smartphones were originally designed to aid work in the business and corporate world, the development of specialities software and applications have made it possible for those devices to become a work tool for professionals from a variety of backgrounds. According to research carried out by Manhattan Research, around 64% of American doctors use smartphones and PDAS at work. In this community, BlackBerries devices are the most common.

This phenomenon is yet to catch on in India, where only 15% of doctors regard their smartphone as essential for their profession, according to a report by Research at Tavess. The report remarked that although Indian doctors are not immune to the benefits of new technology, India's large proportion of older and rural doctors means that they are unfamiliar with how to use smartphones.

This problem could be addressed with the provision of phones that are easy to use, and have intuitive interfaces. For example, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 features both a classic QWERTY keyboard and a responsive touchscreen, which maximises its usability. The BlackBerry Bold price is also in a reasonable range for doctors.

In addition to this, Tavess Research recommend initiatives that give an opportunity to 'try' and get 'educated', to overcome the barrier of unfamiliarity.

There are a number of provisions already in place in mobile, which Indian doctors ought to harness. Currently, Mobile PDR, Skyscape, Mobile Micromedex, Lexi-COMPLETE, Thomson Clinical Xpert, Mobile MerckMedicus and MDConsult Mobile are the most widely used drug reference resources on mobile. On the app front WebMD, UpToDate, MDConsult Mobile, MedScape, etc. are apps most widely used by physicians.

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