Handheld Devices

  • Ravindra Prasad
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)

The latter part of the twentieth century brought the world firmly into the information age. Whereas improved mechanization and industrial technologic development previously drove the economy, now information and related technologies are preeminent. Information technology companies such as Microsoft and Google are now market leaders, joining the ranks of the companies that traditionally prevailed as leaders (e.g., steel manufacturing, automobile production, and retailing). During this time, our primary methods of communicating and disseminating information have changed as well, from printed (books, newspaper or journal articles), to broadcast (radio, television), to electronic (email, Internet). With these changes has come a concurrent explosion in the amount of available information; in fact, companies are quite successful simply by specializing in tools to filter for relevant information (e.g., search tools from Yahoo! and Google, spam-filtering software for email). The new, interactive electronic media formats have particular advantages in medicine: improved ability to find information that specifically addresses the needs of individuals, the ability to combine media formats (text, audio, visual) to meet a variety of learning styles, support for information on demand, and increased ability to disseminate information to both physicians and patients. 1As the population has aged, the acuity of surgical patients has increased as well. With continued pressure on healthcare facilities to perform and provide better care with fewer resources, average patient loads have also increased. The need for information at the point of care has, therefore, never been higher. Handheld computers give physicians access to this information, specific to the needs of individual patients, where and when they need it most: at the patient bedside.


Handwriting Recognition Anaesthesia Information Management System Drug Database Personal Information Management Patient Bedside 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ravindra Prasad
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel HillUSA

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