Rapid access to information resources in clinical biochemistry: medical applications of Personal Digital Assistants (PDA)

Serdar M. A. , Turan M., Cihan M.

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, vol.8, no.2, pp.117-122, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10238-008-0166-y
  • Page Numbers: pp.117-122


Laboratory specialists currently need to access scientific-based information at anytime and anywhere. A considerable period of time and too much effort are required to access this information through existing accumulated data. Personal digital assistants (PDA) are supposed to provide an effective solution with commercial software for this problem. In this study, 11 commercial software products (UpToDate, ePocrates, Inforetrive, Pepid, eMedicine, FIRST Consult, and 5 laboratory e-books released by Skyscape and/or Isilo) were selected and the benefits of their use were evaluated by seven laboratory specialists. The assessment of the software was performed based on the number of the tests included, the software content of detailed information for each test-like process, method, interpretation of results, reference ranges, critical values, interferences, equations, pathophysiology, supplementary technical details such as sample collection principles, and additional information such as linked references, evidence-based data, test cost, etc. In terms of technique, the following items are considered: the amount of memory required to run the software, the graphical user interface, which is a user-friendly instrument, and the frequency of new and/or up-date releases. There is still no perfect program, as we have anticipated. Interpretation of laboratory results may require software with an integrated program. However, methodological data are mostly not included in the software evaluated. It seems that these shortcomings will be fixed in the near future, and PDAs and relevant medical applications will also become indispensable for all physicians including laboratory specialists in the field of training/education and in patient care.