Skyscape's SmARTrain programme offers students power of medical library on PDA

Hudson 16 September 2002Skyscape Inc., a provider of interactive, intelligent mobile solutions for the health care community, has launched smARTrain for students and residents, a special group programme designed to meet the needs of residents, medical students, nursing students, and physician assistant students. Already, over 90 residency and college programmes have taken advantage of this solution, including Tulane University, University of Chicago, Abbott Northwestern, Stanford University, and the University of Massachusetts Medical Schools. Now right from their pockets, students and residents can access their medical reference information, revolutionising the way they utilise information in the learning process.


"The amount of information students or residents have to learn and use to make critical decisions is staggering. Often they have to consult three or four references before they can accumulate the pertinent information to make decisions", stated R.J. Mathew, vice president of marketing and business development for Skyscape. "Now with Skyscape solutions on their handhelds, students and residents can access all their medical information in a matter of seconds, dramatically improving the learning process and the ability to successfully diagnose and treat patients."

Today, more than 20 percent of residency programmes in the United States require their residents to use PDAs. Many provide their residents with a stipend with which to purchase software and tools for the PDAs. Now students and educators can get enhanced versions of leading medical reference books, which they can quickly access on their handhelds to check symptoms, make diagnoses, and prescribe drugs. Medical references are available that are suited for general medicine as well as for a variety of specialities.

Research has shown that having critical information in context at the point of care helps students learn faster and reduces medical errors for all medical practitioners. Today, almost 50 percent of doctors are using mobile devices, and it is essential for students and residents to become comfortable with their use in their daily practice.

Skyscape offers customised smARTrain programmes for institutions of higher learning and the more than 8000 residency programmes in the United States. To join the smARTrain programme, either the institution can create a special account for its students to purchase Skyscape products, or the students can form their own individual purchasing group and reap the benefits. Programme members gain access to reduced-price, Skyscape-powered medical references from the world's leading publishers including Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Elsevier Health Sciences, Springer-Verlag/Bertlesmann, Facts and Comparisons, F.A. Davis, and many others.

"I use my PDA to consult drug information through MosbyDrugs, to refer to information concerning less common diseases through 5 Minute Clinical Consult (5MCC), and to review therapeutic options in 5 Minute Pediatric Consult (5mPeds)", stated Dr. Jonathan Birnkrant, paediatric senior resident at Brown University. "Skyscape has more medical references available than anyone and the ones that are most useful to boot. Their references are the most complete and the discount they offer really benefits everyone here."

Initial participants include Abbott Northwestern, Stanford Medical School, Naval Hospital-Pensacola, Brown Medical School/Hasbro Children's Hospital, Oakland's Children's Hospital, Tulane, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Texas, and more than 75 other programmes.

Skyscape utilises its patented Advanced Reference and Transaction (ART) infrastructure technology to create compelling high-value solutions for handheld devices that reflect and support the intuitive thought processes of the medical practitioner. Skyscape's solutions significantly improve the quality and efficiency of medical decision making at the point of care by enabling doctors to diagnose illnesses, determine treatment, prescribe medication, identify drug interactions, calculate dosages, and perform all the necessary steps involved with quality patient care.

Skyscape has the largest installed base of paying customers in the industry including individual and communities of medical practitioners at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Stanford Medical School, Partners Health System, Duke University, Mayo Clinic, and Kaiser. Skyscape's solutions are available on multiple platforms including Palm OS, Windows CE, and Pocket PC. More company news can be found in the VMW September 2002 article Skyscape and Thomson Healthcare team to bring Skyscape PDRDrugs to handheld devices.

Leslie Versweyveld

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