This newsletter started out as an occasional fact sheet for some of my colleagues at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario. We all felt challenged (read: intimidated) by housestaff doctors and students who could whip out PDAs and read off all sorts of references during morning report. Several of us bought similar gizmos in self-defence. In comparing notes with coworkers, I found we all had similar questions and problems. With far too much of my spare time, I started looking for and finding answers. Before long, I was besieged by requests for assistance. The newsletter was born out of this research - I had to stay one step ahead of all those questions!
For the first three years, the UHN Palm Newsletter, as it was known, was a monthly e-mailing to a readership that grew by word of mouth. The newsletter has now outgrown its UHN affiliation and delivery method. Thus, starting in 2003, new issues are posted to the web and subscribers receive only a notification message in their email. Old issues are all archived here as well. The newsletter was renamed as well and is now the Medical Palm Review.
The website is kindly hosted by the Technology Application Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital. It's a good fit: they are actively investigating using handheld computers in clinical medicine and host an annual conference on this topic.
What does the future hold? Further developments in handheld computers and mobile medicine are bound to surprise, intrigue, excite and disappoint us all in varying measure. We hope to chronicle some of this and provide useful pointers through the chaos for health care workers who want tools, not just gizmos. Suggestions and comments are welcome: the author can be contacted via email as noted below.
The author, Paul Arnold is a career emergency physician currently based at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has sacrificed most of his non-clinical life to tinkering with computers. The rest is spent on educational projects and consulting in health care and computing issues. You can contact him at pa[dot]mpr[at]rogers[dot]com.
The Technology Application Unit is a research group at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada studying information technology and handheld computers in medicine.