For generations of Medical Students and Doctors if you ever wanted to know the specifics about a medical problem, or check up on what to do in the middle of the night when you're totally stumped by instinct you would probably reach into your white coat pocket for your well thumbed trusted yellow friend the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine (OHCM).
If you have a Palm, Windows CE, or Pocket PC PDA you can now take this book with you wherever you go. Written in its usual concise and quirky way, the PDA version is the digital version of the sixth edition of the OHCM and something of a must to have on your Palm device whilst at work.
Even just the thought of having a PDA version at hand made me reminisce to those days over a decade ago when the handbook version was carried with me everywhere I went, through medical school, along the dark lonely corridors of teaching hospitals to an elective in Africa, to Australia and back to the cold corridors of Pinderfields in Wakefield.
The PDA version is supplied on a disk that you first setup on your Windows PC (Mac also supported) before installing it across to your PDA by either a Hotsync (in my case to my Palm T5) or an ActiveSync to a non palm device. You then have to register your software by accessing http://www.skyscape.com and entering the supplied Serial Number to get an unlock code to enter on your PDA.
This was a bit of a chore but I managed to get a code that worked ok on my Palm. In fact the Skyscape website was packed with support such as getting started guides, screenshots and FAQs if needed to get things working smoothly.
It took a few minutes to get used to the screen lay out but this was made easy because an annotated quick reference guide was available in the small easy to follow 8 page manual that came with the software.
Essentially what you get is a quick reference to all areas of the handbook, the PDA version is well ordered and multilayered making the finding of information easier and quicker to use than the original book. Everything is in full color with great tables and diagrams, there’s no thumbing through an index, just quick searches with a few taps of the stylus you can open branched contents lists to find the problem you are looking for. Alternatively you can enter a few letters of the problem into the search box to look through the whole book. You can then bookmark the condition or highlight text for future reference all associated conditions are linked to make browsing very easy.
A few times in clinical meetings after secretly referring to the OHCM on my PDA I have perked up and appeared totally knowledgeable about a well forgotten condition.
In short this software is a must for any Doctor with a PDA, it gives you reassurance that its there on your PDA packed with evidence based, witty guidance, whenever you need it.