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  1. 1. What would John Snow use today? PDAs for public health Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, MD The Advisory Board Company
  2. 2. Principles of mobile medical computing ● Introductions and mobile computing terms ● Tools to share with your patrons − EpiSurveyor: free data collection software − Satellite Forms: rapid application design − Voxiva: large-scale industrial strength projects ● Issues to consider in your project
  3. 3. Introductions How many are in... − Clinician practice? − Information finding roles? − Management?
  4. 4. Mobile computing terms ● Personal Digital Assistants − Handheld computer: a computer small enough to hold in your hand − Smartphone: a handheld computer that can make telephone calls
  5. 5. Advantages of smartphones ● Perhaps the best computer ever designed for public health − Mobility − Connectivity − Ubiquity
  6. 6. Early examples
  7. 7. Early example: Satellife ● Thirty Ghanaian Red Cross volunteers, trained over a 2-day period, had no trouble with the technology, though some of them had never before used a computer. − Complete over 2,400 surveys in just 3 days. Traditional paper and pen survey method generally yielded only 200. − Survey data were turned in at noon on the day following the immunization campaign. − Analysis was completed promptly after the data was hot synched into a computer and then written up as a complete report for the Ministry of Health by 5pm. ● The speed and ease of gathering this epidemiological data was unprecedented.
  8. 8. EpiSurveyor: free data collection software ● Open source survey software by Joel Selanikio, CDC-trained MD ● Received awards from the World Bank and others ● Deployed by public health researchers in several countries ●
  9. 9. EpiSurveyor: free data collection software
  10. 10. Satellite Forms: rapid application design ● Palm OS and Pocket PCs ● Anatole Menon- Johansson embedded HIV medication protocols into PDA ● ●
  11. 11. Voxiva: large-scale projects ● “Phones for Health” is building on the work of the GSM Association Development Fund, Voxiva, Motorola and the U.S. Government to pilot mobile-phone based solutions for HIV/AIDS care and treatment. ● The system also supports SMS alerting and notification and tools for communication and coordination with field staff.
  12. 12. Issues to consider in your project ● Optimize for the small screen − No horizontal scrolling ● Take advantage of connectivity − Collect data in the field, including GPS locations − Calculate and analyze centrally − Web pages easiest for developers but not for users ● The beauty of rapid development is frequent testing, not rapid deployment
  13. 13. The challenge − At the start of 2006 there were over 600 papers in PubMed™ that dealt with handheld computers. Many lessons have accumulated in the clinical literature but we need to understand and assimilate these lessons. The challenge is to provide these lessons as peer-reviewed and unbiased summaries based on scientific fact, not marketing hype. The Scholarships − Five exceptional students from around the world will be selected each year to review selected literature and make summary reports that will be published in the Mobile Medical Computing Reviews journal. The Scholarship winners will be mentored and trained by Dr. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, author of four books, including “Handheld Computers for Doctors”. ● The results − Once complete, the reviews will be published and freely available through the website of the new journal Mobile Medical Computing Reviews. Each student will be able to quote their own reviews in their list of publications.
  14. 14. Evidence-based mobility ● International Scholarship − Applicants from the USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, UK, Portugal, Romania, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, India, China, Philippines and Australia. − ● Peer-reviewed review journal −
  15. 15. What would John Snow use today? PDAs for public health Slides and handout available at Contact details Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, MD The Advisory Board Company