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PDAK - COMPUTERS IN RADIOLOGY Personal digital...

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150 C M Y K Indian J Radiol Imaging / August 2007 / Vol 17 / Issue 3 150 This PDF is available for free download from a site hosted by Medknow Publications (www.medknow.com). Personal digital assistant (PDA): Putting radiology in your pocket R. Pant Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India Correspondence: Correspondence: Surg Cdr R. Pant, Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Armed Forces Medical College, Sholapur Road, Pune - 411 040, India. E-mail: [email protected] Introduction to the personal digital assistant (PDA) A busy radiology practice makes demands on time and requires radiologists to have a large amount of information at their ° ngertips, more so than many other clinical specialties. Juggling all the scheduling and information-retrieval and storage tasks can be a nightmare. Do not despair! Such a problem-solving tool is available in India, in stores near you, for Rs. 15000/- onwards. It is called a personal digital assistant (PDA) and yes, it can change your life! Most of us in radiology are familiar with computers. We routinely use them for searching the Internet for references, for word-processing functions, for viewing diagnostic images, and for entertainment. A PDA is nothing but a pocket-sized computer. Passing instructions and data into a PC is accomplished using a keyboard and mouse. Most PDAs use a keyboard that may be integrated or a small folding a tt achment, along with a pen-like device called a °stylus± that is used to write on a touch-sensitive screen, which is present in all PDAs [Figure 1]. The PDA can convert most scribbled handwri tt en text into clear legible typewri tt en text, so that those who are not expert typists need not worry! PDAs can link up to PCs, usually through a USB cable, and can exchange programs and ° les with it. This allows work done in one device to be transferred to the other. The data is stored in hard drives or removable memory cards. Types of PDA In 1996, US Robotics introduced the ° rst Palm Pilot, which featured 128 KB of RAM and a 160 ² 160-pixel touch-sensitive gray-scale screen. At present there are three main types of PDAs. Information about them is summarized in Table 1. Utility of a PDA It was estimated in a 2003 article that nearly 50% of physicians would be using a PDA by 2005. [1] That has certainly not happened in India, but is probably an underestimation of the situation in the USA! A study from 2006 states that of 1501 physicians interviewed, 39% of the respondents said they used their PDAs in more than half their patient encounters. [2] So how can a PDA help a radiologist and in his day-to- day activities? To give an illustration, let us run through an imaginary day: At work, as you report a di cult case, C OMPUTERS IN R ADIOLOGY Key words: Computers, PDA, personal digital assistant, radiodiagnosis Figure 1: Typical PDA (Palm type and Pocket PC).
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Indian J Radiol Imaging / August 2007 / Vol 17 / Issue 3 151 This PDF is available for free download from a site hosted by Medknow Publications (www.medknow.com).
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