An interesting systematic review on the use of PDAs by health care providers. They found:

“The current overall adoption rate for individual professional use ranges between 45% and 85%, indicating high but somewhat variable adoption, primarily among physicians.”

Why do the clinicians use PDAs?

“In terms of patient care, access to drug information was reported in 93% of the surveys reporting clinical PDA use, while 50% reported prescribing, 43% stated accessing patient records, 43% described medical calculator use, and 36% indicated use in reference to laboratory values.”

I’ve blogged before on wi-fi access. It seems to me that fairly soon all PDAs will be seamlessly linked, via wi-fi, to the internet. This will negate the need to store databases actually on the device and allow live searching of up-to-date resources. But the big message, for me, from the systematic review was the broad need for ‘drug support’. Although the paper focussed on PDAs I’m sure a similar trend would be seen by clinicians using a computer-based internet connection.

TRIP, while a great source of information for EBM articles it has not focussed on drug support (be it contraindications, interactions, side-effects etc). Two sites that look good are the UK’s SPC site(Summary of Product Characteristics) and the American Rxlist. A bit of thought and I’m sure they’d fit in seamlessly with TRIP.