Palmtop and pen-based computers in medical care

D. W. Wormuth, Robert Greenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Portable computers, including digital books, organizers, palmtops, and personal digital assistants or pen-based computers, are still in the early stages of development and application for health care. However, they are starting to find their way into provider's hands for use with management tasks such as appointment scheduling and dictionary research. Although their use for clinical or medical decision support is still a year or two away, these computers warrant attention now as a tool for the future. Unlike desktop computer systems, portable computer devices offer users the opportunity to have available computer-based tools wherever they are needed. Palmtop and pen-based computers are lightweight and easy to use, offering far less of an intrusion than traditional computers in clinical encounters. This article describes the spectrum of portable computing devices, from the simplest, which are digital books, through the most advanced, personal digital assistants. The benefits and limitations of each are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Practice Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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