Skyscape brings natural medicine, alternative therapy references, and the Special Forces Medical Handbook to PDA

Hudson 23 December 2002Skyscape Inc., a provider of interactive, intelligent mobile solutions for the health care community, has introduced three new natural medicine and alternative therapies references, including Guide to Popular Natural Products (GNP) published by Facts and Comparisons, a complete version of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database published by Therapeutic Research Corporation, and the Nursing Herbal Medicine Handbook published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Skyscape has also made available the Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook from Teton NewMedia for the PDA. The content was created by the United States Special Operations Command, Office of the Command Surgeon, and over 80 medical specialists, and is now the unified reference for Special Forces combat medics in all branches of the Armed Forces.

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The addition of the three natural medicine and alternative therapy titles, which are PDA versions of the same trusted, recognised medical reference publications used by physicians and other health care practitioners across the globe, gives medical professionals unprecedented access to the most comprehensive, top quality natural product and alternative medicine information available today.

Further, Skyscape's patented smARTlink technology enables end users to seamlessly connect with other medical references loaded onto their PDAs, allowing them to move in real time from diagnosing to determining treatment options and potential drug interactions, and now even between natural products and traditional drug therapies. This is only possible with the Skyscape solution.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), as defined by the federal government's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. The list of what is considered to be CAM changes continually, as those therapies that are proven to be safe and effective become adopted into conventional health care and as new approaches to health care emerge.

The availability of natural medicine and alternative therapies has existed for thousands of years but more recently, these treatment strategies have become more accepted by all types of medical practitioners and consumers. Due to their new acceptance and the variety of options, health care providers often find it difficult to keep track of all the potential therapy options and treatments.

Fortunately, today more and more of these alternative medicine options are being documented and researched by organisations including NCCAM making the access to this information easier and more trustworthy. This information which is now available in easy to use formats, has significant health-related implications, since 50 percent of Americans use alternative therapies and almost one-quarter of parents are using alternative medicine for their children, while only two- thirds of them are informing the child's primary physician about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use.

The first Skyscape-powered medical reference for the alternative medicine market is GNP. This comprehensive PDA version of Guide to Natural Products, published by Facts and Comparisons, includes 125 informative monographs covering the most popular herbal products. Each monograph contains scientific and common names; patient information; references; and abridged sections on Botany, History, Pharmacology, and Toxicology.

Based on scientific research, the Guide to Popular Natural Products also includes several valuable appendices: Drug Interactions Charts, Sources of Natural Product Information, Herbal Diuretics Chart, and Poison Control Center Information. Also included are a Therapeutic Index, a comprehensive Primary Index, and colour photographs of featured botanicals.

Within the next few weeks, Skyscape will be adapting and releasing additional natural products and alternative medicine references for use with handheld devices including:

  • NatDatD: This PDA version of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, published by Therapeutic Research Corporation, includes the full content of the textbook with over 1900 pages, about 400 pages longer than the previous edition of this gold standard for evidence-based, clinical information on natural medicines. It is the most complete and up-to-date reference available.
  • RnHerbal: This PDA version of Nursing Herbal Medicine Handbook published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, closely resembles the look and style of Nursing Drug Handbook (NDH), including size, cover, NDH logo, monograph format and logos within each monograph. The Nursing Considerations section is substantial, with a strong focus on drug interaction, drug history, administration, and patient teaching information. The focus is on needs of the practising nurse related to herbal medicines rather than on the medicines themselves.

These references launch Skyscape's natural product and alternative medicine core offering, which ultimately will include several other well known titles from worldwide publishers.

The Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook is specifically designed to help medical personnel make the appropriate diagnoses and administer the proper treatments, even when they may not have access to the methods, drugs, and equipment with which they would normally work. The Skyscape-powered PDA reference contains the entire content of the book, including 270 images and 50 tables.

It will help medical professionals in the Armed Forces and civilians to gain access to the information they need, and provides all doctors, nurses and EMTs with a handy reference guide for when they know they will be away from their typical working environment. Most importantly, because of Skyscape's smARTlink technology, the content of this book can dynamically link to content from other medical references, enabling physicians to check drug dosages, drug interactions or refer to speciality texts to gain additional insight.

"As an Internal Medicine doctor, I am frequently deployed around the world in often very remote locations. I cannot take all my favourite medical text books with me and often find myself at a loss for high quality medical references", stated Major Sonya Krause, MD, US Army. "Thanks to Skyscape products, I can download an endless array of medical texts to my PDA. During my last deployment to the Balkans, I used the 5 Minute Emergency Medicine Consult when taking care of a burn patient. I find Skyscape products easy to use, medically accurate, and my best battle companion."

The Special Operation Forces Medical Handbook provides treatment protocols organised by symptoms and affected organ system, including speciality areas such as trauma, infectious disease, and toxicology. It also has guides for critical procedures, surgeries, and basic medical skills, with information on how to handle specific environmental hazards including altitude and temperature related illness, chemical injuries, and exposures.

Skyscape's solutions bring critical, actionable information to health care workers in a context they can use, reducing the time they need to spend consulting information and adding value by enabling complex information queries and access to the latest drug information. Research has shown that the ability to capture and retrieve information at the point-of-care can reduce the time it takes to deliver care in half and can significantly reduce prescription errors. The power of handhelds has been recognised by the medical industry, with almost 50 percent of doctors using the devices today.

Through the use of Skyscape solutions on their handhelds, physicians and other medical professionals can diagnose illnesses, determine treatment, prescribe medication, identify drug interactions, calculate dosages, and perform all the necessary steps involved with quality patient care right at the patient's bedside. Skyscape's patented technology enables practitioners to follow their own intuitive thought process and work flow, improving care quality and reducing administrative time.

"Medical professionals encounter new situations every day, and the ability to access the critical information at the point-of-care is essential when saving minutes means saving lives", stated R.J. Mathew, vice president of marketing and business development for Skyscape. "Whether a medical professional is in the Armed Forces treating casualties, or an EMT encountering an accident on a rural road, they need to have the information to handle unexpected circumstances at their fingertips, and Skyscape and the Special Forces Medical Handbook give them that ability."

Teton NewMedia is a niche publisher that acquires and publishes affordable information for both veterinary and human medicine. In conjunction with a distinguished author-base, they focus on providing quality information in multiple formats that assists practitioners in providing better health care. Teton NewMedia is committed to providing alternative, interactive content including print, CD-ROM, Web-based applications, and eBooks.

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 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 and Windows CE/Pocket PC. More company news is available in the VMW December 2002 article Skyscape introduces medical reference software for Nokia smartphones while supporting the Symbian platform.


Leslie Versweyveld

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