Harvard Medical School to Distribute Hand-Held Devices to Students
Starting this August, Harvard Medical School will provide 338 of the school's 734 students with hand-held personal digital assistants (PDAs) that will allow the students to receive announcements and store educational information, such as lecture and hospital case log notes, the Boston Globe reports. According to officials, the $350,000 program will make Harvard the "first educational institution to adopt PDAs as the information standard." Students will be able to update information on their PDAs using computers at the school's medical education center, and that information will be linked to the students' home computers. Dr. John Halamka, the medical school's associate dean for educational technology, said, "Medical students, especially those in their third and fourth years, have to be very mobile, moving from hospital to hospital to see patients. And the PDA can keep them on track (and) help reduce some of their anxieties so they can focus on learning." The Globe reports that the medical school's faculty members will also participate in the PDA wireless network, making lecture notes and graphics available to students (Rosenberg, Boston Globe, 5/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.