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Nirav R Shah, MD, MPH

New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

Al-Ubaydli M. The doctor's PDA and Smartphone handbook: a guide to handheld healthcare. London: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd, 2006.

The doctor’s PDA and Smartphone handbook can be obtained from for £12.95.

The doctor’s PDA and Smartphone handbook aims to introduce clinicians—doctors, fellows, residents, and medical students—to the basics of using personal digital assistants (PDAs) in daily clinical care.

The book starts with general advice on buying a handheld computer, followed by detailed chapters on the most common functions (eg, diary or calendar, address book, task list, and notes) explaining their use in depth. Smartphones (eg, Treos, Blackberrys) are described along with the most useful software, security issues, and databases/medical records for PDAs. Specific vignettes are presented in each chapter, showing how a clinician actually practised the chapter’s lessons.

An online companion to the book can be found at = the-doctors-pda-and-smartphone-handbook. This website contains short movie clips demonstrating the common functions for both Palm and PocketPC platforms, with audio, video, and screen animations. While the excellent and free online movie clips provide all the basics a beginner may need, the companion text is a great reference and contains additional material not found online.

The authors clearly possess a comprehensive knowledge of PDAs in clinical use and do a nice job presenting the material in a user-friendly, concise text. Even more advanced users may benefit from some of the links provided and software recommended.


  • Methods and quality of information 1/5

  • Clinical usefulness 5/5

Elizabeth A Carrey, PhD

UCL Institute of Child Health, London, …

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