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Medical Student PDA suggestions?

by elstevo / June 5, 2004 6:55 AM PDT

I'm a medical student looking for my first PDA. I plan on using whatever medical software I'll need. Wireless over Bluetooth preferred. I'm currently tossed between a Sony Clie TJ37 or the new mid-level Dell Axim X30 (312mhz). I've been told that there's a ton more medical software available for Palm OS than PocketPC, but from looking around it seems that PocketPC is catching up.


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Re:Medical Student PDA suggestions?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 5, 2004 8:25 AM PDT
Sony halts production

Unless you need this model, don't do it. At the moment, (and please disregard my little red 'm') I'd look at the Dell Axim X30s and PalmOne units.

I see far too many similarities to Apple and PalmOne as to what lies ahead for PalmOS based PDAs.

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Re:Re:Medical Student PDA suggestions?
by elstevo / June 6, 2004 1:18 AM PDT

"I see far too many similarities to Apple and PalmOne as to what lies ahead for PalmOS based PDAs."

Is this good or bad? (I'm not well-versed in tech history.) I'm guessing bad...

I saw that article about Sony earlier and that's what sparked me to start considering the Dell. With Sony out, PalmOne left as the only one using PalmOS, and PPCs popping up everywhere, I'm not sure if that bodes too well for a PalmOS investment.

But that raises another question--should I see this as an investment, or should I just get what I know I could use right now? If it really is true that there's a great deal more PalmOS-based medical software than for PPC, should I bite the bullet and just get a Palm-based PDA for these next two years of school...figuring that in two years, I'd probably have to buy a new one anyway?

Questions, questions...

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Re:Re:Re:Medical Student PDA suggestions?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2004 1:52 AM PDT

All good questions. But as an investment, a PDA is a poor choice. Be sure to think it may fail in year 3 or what you want, not be available.

As to the software, I see many scrambling to port such to the other OS as the market moves.

For me, PalmOne's decision to not put a serial port in was the only reason I have to move to another PDA...


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Re:Medical Student PDA suggestions?
by hellsbells / June 8, 2004 2:31 AM PDT

I wouldn't go w/ Sony. They are getting out of the market. HP has some good pocketpc's.

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Re:Medical Student PDA suggestions?
by kkumar99 / August 6, 2004 5:02 PM PDT

I too am looking for a pda as a medical student...i was looking at the dell aximi x30 vs the hp concern i have is that i've heard some of the medical databases can get quite large, and i was wondering if it exceeded the capacity of the sd cards. any help would be appreciated. thank you

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SD card limits.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 7, 2004 12:08 AM PDT

If you exceed the 512M or 1G SD card limits, then you should look into a wifi connection to some bigger machine.


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Re: SD card limits.
by peenuts220 / August 7, 2004 5:43 AM PDT
In reply to: SD card limits.

Yea if your looking for a palm go with a palm-one because if you noticed sony has tossed their clie line.

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Re: Medical Student PDA suggestions?
by cutekangaroo / October 28, 2004 10:09 AM PDT

A short tip is that medical software are no more than "quick references" with definitions and common terms. I am studying to become a dentist, but I don't like the Palm OS because (personally) I don't like the 8bit-like interface. Pocket PC looks fresher. Most of the time I wouldn't refer to my PDA for medical reference, just dictionary and therasarus.

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PDA medical software
by bemRN / December 15, 2004 12:15 AM PST

"I wouldn't refer to my PDA for medical reference, just dictionary and therasarus"

I work in a teaching hospital and we use comprehesive software that is full text with greaphics... depends on the software you use

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Medical Doctor
by SpineMD / December 26, 2004 3:30 AM PST

I would go with a Palm based PDA for the following reasons. (Based on my 1 month experience of using a PPC based HP PDA).

1) Chances are you'll be using Epocrates as your drug reference data base. It is free on Palm, but you have to pay an anual fee for the pocket pc version. I never found a free one for a pocket pc.

2) Battery life. I believe Palm based PDAs use up less battery and therefore have a longer battery life. I am not sure about the latest models specifications, but I would definitely look into this. You will be on call working for at least 24hrs straight at a time. This doesn't leave you with the option of recharging. On my HP, my battery would be dead halfway into my call.

3) Software. When I purchased my PDA, there was a lot more palm based software than for PPC. I think the gap may be narrowing now, but there are still a lot more FREE things for Palm than PPC. Checkout for software titles. Things to definitely have are 5MCC and Washington manual. These titles are not as big as one would think. You don't need a 1Gig card. 256 would suffice on a Palm based PDA with plenty of room to spare.

You need to check to see if your hospital has Wi Fi access. Most Universities do, and it definitely is nice to have access to your email in the cafeteria when you have a few min of downtime. However, most hospital now days do have multiple access stations throughout so computer access isn't a real issue.

As far as medical software being no more than definitions and common terms, I would disagree. There are multiple treatment protocols that you will not remember starting out. Having a quick way of reviewing them at bedside is invaluable and definitely facilitates your learning.

I am currently using a Sony TH55 with no problems. It definitely suits my needs and I am very happy with it. Remember, pick a PDA that you're most comfortable using as well. If it's hard to use or won't end up using it. Try it out and if you don't like it, you can always exchange it.

Hope that helps.

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Sony Clie th55: problems?
by Olivia / January 7, 2005 1:01 AM PST
In reply to: Medical Doctor


I'm thinking of buying the same PDA. Do you have problems with the memory (not enough)?
And did you run into any trouble with a lack of support from Sony?
I noted that Data Viz is not included, at least not the full version. Did you have to register at the Sony site first? I found the link, but it no longer works.

Thanks a lot for the advice in advance Happy


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Sony Clie - Do Not Buy
by cr_bear / January 18, 2005 10:47 AM PST

Battery life is extremely poor. Does not make business easier. The sony clie is a bad product, and the tech support is worse.

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PPC have swapable batteries
by cfj03 / January 9, 2005 7:10 AM PST
In reply to: Medical Doctor

With the ability to swap batteries found ONLY PPC I don't think battery life is much of an issue or a plus for Palm devices. Also, Palm seems stuck on stupid because they act as if bluetooth is the common standard for wireless access(see the T5). I've owned four Palm OS systems, currently a Zire 71, but I'm definetely getting a PPC next (probaly as a smart phone).

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here's what I use it for
by mypaisa / January 10, 2005 3:15 AM PST
In reply to: Medical Doctor

I have a pocketpc. I chose it because i wanted to do more with it than just school/med stuff all the software I wanted had palm or ppc versions for the same price.

- drug references & interactions
- 5-minute clin consult
- med calculator
- class schedules and notes

- IM/chat/email
- voice recorder
- voip telephone using skype
- universal remote at home for my entertainment center
- gps in the car
- my digital cam uses compact flash & so does my e800 so I share memory between the two
- tons more...I dont even use my laptop anymore, and when i have to do presentations I hook the projector up to the PDA and run my ppt of it.

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PDA and medical students
by ibellmd / January 8, 2005 8:26 AM PST

I am very comfortable with the palm products. I use the Mobile PDR, Epocrates, Pocket Psych, etc (I am a psychiatrist). They are easy to use, some are free, and they do not lock up.

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check with your school first
by mypaisa / January 10, 2005 3:06 AM PST

our school went with a company that installed a wireless network and everyone got pocketpc's paid by a grant or something. plus all of our software was paid for through our tuition. contact (?) or ask your IT dept if they already get a discount or have a contract. i got a toshiba e800 for $300 less than retail and about $250 in software for free...and so did everyone else in my class.

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Go with PalmOS device
by jbjerome / January 15, 2005 3:22 AM PST

Take this from someone who uses his as an extension of my peripheral nervous system in ALL aspects of my life and work. Tons more software exists for the Palm, as you well know, the only benefit to a PPC device is that UpToDate exists for it, but hey for the same price (of UptoDate) you can have internet access to it and use it EVERYWHERE and have the ability to print from a desktop.

With my Palm I have reference software, drug guides, medical calcualtors, eosteric lists of most common things that...among dozens of other things.

In your case the best bang for your buck is the Tungsten E. I had an m515 for 3 years and only just upgraded to a T3 because I fried the m515 after a move by using the wrong adapter. Never been impressed with the Clies and the fact they're no longer around does not necessarily bode poorly for Palm. If you'd prefer a higher end unit then got to or the Palm Outlet and buy a refurb unit, that will usually save you about 25-30% upfront and from most indications they look and function like brand new, minus the extensive plastic packing they come with in retail form. Overall they are more portable and sleeker looking than ANY PPC. Good luck!

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