Friday, April 12, 2002

Mastercard or PDA? You don't want to leave home without it/Try and Fly

What the Doctor ordered:Global Physician Survey Reports Mobile Devices Help Doctors Provide Better Patient Care; Improve Interactions with Pharmaceutical Representatives
Avantgo conducted a survey of physicians who said "mobile devices could significantly improve patient care." 92% of the docs
are using their pdas numerous times a day for calendars, to access drug reference guides, and read medical journals.
They would like to use their pdas to access medical reference sites, write and transmit prescriptions, etc.

Try and Fly: Hotspot
Program Lends PDAs to Travelers"
And I thought I had it bad, loading 29 pdas for loan to medical professionals. :)
Swedish operator Tella lends pdas to travelers for 24 hours so that they can test the use of mobile computing for their
travelers and wireless network access. Boy, doesn't this sound like a great idea? Something for libraries to consider?
""The aim of 'Fly & Try' is to demonstrate, primarily to business travelers, how a mobile solution can facilitate and streamline their working day," said Mats Salomonsson, acting head of Telia Mobile Sweden. He added that the operator wanted to demonstrate that "waiting time at the airport can be turned into efficient working time." This is what medical libraries are trying to do for
medical professionals and doctors, what we are trying to do in our project, to demonstrate that the library is one of the first
places in an organization to embrace new technologies, to train others on their use and to provide valuable information via
the technology and about the technology. What a great idea...Try and Fly...think of what libraries of all kinds could do for
their clientele by allowing their customers test drive a pda. This struck me today what an all-encompassing and
wonderful device the pda has evolved into. I did my first presentation using Margi
Presenter to go at a small hospital in central Illinois. They invited me to do a presentation on pdas because they were
thinking about using them in a clinical setting. I did not take a laptop; I took the projector and the pda with my power
point on the pda. Using Margi Presenter to go, I set up the pda with the laptop and did my presentation. I could
have taken minutes of the meeting using the detachable keyboard and Documents to go. The network manager
there beamed me his business card so I could send him more information about our project. (This was my first
beam!) How exciting! I had the digital camera and could have used this to take pictures if I happened to be
on vacation. I could also use the pda as a picture album if I wanted to, keep all my names, addresses and
phone numbers. If I needed to make a call, I could plug my cellular phone into the expansion slot (which
I don't have yet). If I were traveling and needed directions, I could use a GPS system. If I were really into
traveling and wanted information about one of the cities on the vindigo service, I could look up restaurants, hotels
and more! Now that some magazines are becoming mobile, I could get my magazine subscriptions on
my handheld, keep in touch while I'm gone via wireless e-mail, load up ebooks on my pda for reading in the car,
instant message my friends when I got tired of reading, and eventually use my pda for all electronic money transactions. I am sure
can think of even more uses for the pda, but just think! We are not far from this. There is a lot libraries
could do to allow their customers to "try and fly" such as giving training to local businesses or educators; demonstrating
the Avantgo channels that would be of interest to them; the Margi Presenter to go so they can do a business
or classroom presentation; some reference tools specific to
that audience (such as ovid@hand for medical or westlaw for lawyers); e-books available for that audience; a vindigo
account for travelers; etc. Share your ideas--they probably are not that far away. The possibilities for libraries
increase on a daily basis.

I had the great pleasure of talking with Steven Grove today from Cleveland. He is talking
about his hospital library's pda project at the Case Western Reserve conference on wireless and pdas in academic settings. This
conference is May 1-2, 2002, and Steven has promised us a report. Lots of exciting topics and
big speakers. I wish I could go. Thanks, Steven!

E-books on the IPAQ:
Great news for travelers and the book obsessed
Read this great article on the
author's positive e-book reading experience on an IPAQ. This author says he did
not like earlier ebook devices, but the IPAQ is a totally different experience. Things
are looking up for e-books!

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