More and more of us are connected to the Internet, at the desktop, at home, or both. Web browsers span nearly a billion and a half Internet Web pages, and plenty on the Web is directly pertinent to patient care. One might therefore argue that we as clinicians must be well supplied with just the right information at exactly the right moment. But are we?
As we hurry through busy office days, as we round at the bedside in hospital, do we have every answer to every factual question that arises as decisions are made? A billion Web pages are of no use when a single fact is needed, and plowing through the hundreds of hits that the best browsers turn up takes time. Wireless Web access for medical applications is still largely a pipe dream, and few places have a personal computer at every bedside and in every examination room. Solution? Enter the personal digital assistant (PDA). With what are effectively pocket computers, hardware manufacturers and software developers have found a way to lessen the time between clinical question and available information.