The truth about handhelds
David MacAllister explores the facts behind the hype
Are you using a wireless application protocol (WAP) phone to book cinema tickets? How about the Internet to do most of your shopping? All right, what about CD ROMS for the majority of your medical learning and the Internet for the rest?
No? But when these technologies were introduced predictions were made that you would be doing just that. In fact, whenever a new technology emerges enthusiasts pop up with fanciful claims, just like the ones above.
Now, in medicine, the new technology that everyone is talking about is the handheld computer.
The handheld is the next big small thing--a phenomenon that has spread here from the United States. It began in business and journalism, but by 1999 a staggering 15% of US doctors owned handheld computers.1 With an even higher proportion of medical students owning handhelds, and given the fact that ownership is still growing, this is a remarkable