Monday, November 21, 2005
Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine for PDAs: 892 Pages (Without the Bulk)
Posted by Darius Wey in "SOFTWARE" @ 09:00 AM
The product (hereafter, OHCM6) is built on Skyscape technology and occupies around 10MB on the device. It is shipped as a CD and includes a unique key, which has to be registered with a Skyscape profile (this can be created if you don't have one already). Using ActiveSync, all the necessary components are copied over and installed on your Pocket PC. OHCM6 also includes smARTupdate - a Skyscape plug-in that sits in the system tray and updates the application whenever new content is made available. The whole installation/update process is pain-free (and that's the way it should be).
Figure 1: OHCM6's smARTupdate delivers all the necessary updates on the next synchronisation.
The OHCM6 interface is nicely laid out. The top bar consists of a 'back' button, and links to the table of contents, the main index, bookmarks, history, and even other Skyscape products you may have installed on your device (using Skyscape's smARTlink technology). There's also a 'toggle to fit screen' button whose function is self-explanatory. The contents and index makes it easy to navigate through the handbook's huge amount of content. The bookmarks and history feature allows you to backtrack through favourite and previously-viewed content. If you wanted to achieve something similar with the actual book, you'd have a hundred Post-it notes everywhere! Not a pretty sight, in my opinion.
Figure 2: OHCM6's table of contents (shown above) and index makes navigation a breeze.
The search bar housed within the main index is dynamic. It filters through the different topics as you type making it faster to find what you need. The table of contents is sorted according to systems-based medicine.
Figure 3: Colour-coded information.
Once you hit a particular topic, you may find the text to be a little large or small. This can be easily modified by using the Text Size option in the menu bar situated at the bottom of the screen. It's also worth noting that much like the actual OHCM6 book, all information is colour-coded making it easier to wade through the relevant parts of the text.
OHCM6 for Pocket PCs (running Pocket PC 2002 to Windows Mobile 5.0) can be purchased from Skyscape for $39.95. If you consider the added cost and extra bulk of the physical version, I think the electronic version is well worth the money spent. The sixth edition of this text includes new sections on common acute medical symptoms, clinical skills, commonly-used drugs, and ECGs.