Windows Mobile: A Peek at Next Generation Solutions for the Point of Care

Mobility is a necessary attribute of information technology solutions for healthcare workers. Doctors, nurses and other clinicians are always on the move. They really cannot be tied to a desktop PC. They need solutions at the point of care and everywhere in between, often including their home and automobile. For many of these work-flows, devices running Windows Mobile are ideal. And one look at some of the current and future applications of this technology will tell you why.

Partners Healthcare in Boston has already deployed a solution for wound care that uses Windows Mobile devices. The built-in camera, communication and collaboration capabilities on these devices make them perfect for wound care specialists in the field. Cameras on these units are expected to get better and better. Higher resolution stills and even video will open up exciting new possibilities

According to Hemang Patel, Microsoft’s Healthcare and Life Sciences mobility specialist, the day isn’t too far off when video consultations between doctors and their patients will be possible on a Windows Mobile Smartphone. Enhancements known as HSDPA and EVDO Rev A are perfectly in line for video conference functionality should future enhancements to Mobile Communicator enable it. With the improvement of processing power and data speeds, ISVs such as Global Care Quest already allow physicians to view critical patient care data such as real-time telemetry, labs, PACs images, ECG, CT scans, and more. Whatever is happening at the bedside can be viewed from anywhere using a Windows Mobile device.

Partners such as Standard Register currently offer home health point of care solutions that allow clinicians to fill out complex forms (such as OASIS) on paper using a digital pen. The pen captures each stroke and forwards data via Bluetooth to a Windows Mobile device. Data is then transmitted from the handset to backend servers for instant conversion to XML, PDF, etc. Another Microsoft partner offers a medication compliance solution that uses a unit dose drug dispensing device and RFID technology. The dispensing unit records dosing information, date, and time and automatically relays this to a Windows Mobile device for reporting back to the patient’s clinician.

These are just of few of the cutting edge, mobile technologies in use today or coming soon to healthcare; solutions that meet the needs of highly mobile medical professionals.

Bill Crounse, MD         Healthcare Industry Director       Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences

Comments (4)

  1. Bill,

    Are you guys having any conversations with the hardware vendors for Windows Mobile devices? If not, you really need to!

    Palm Treos seem to be pretty popular with clinicians these days, but the Palm running Windows Mobile really needs a lot more memory in it! There’s not much mem space on there for running user programs. 🙁 IMHO, if we could get these devices with a respectable amount of memory in them (or at least a reasonable upgrade path for adding more memory), it would create a LOT of really interesting potential for these devices.

    To be fair, it’s not just the Windows Mobile devices – the PalmOS devices could benefit from more memory, too.. but the PalmOS seems to take up a bit less overhead on the Treo than WM.


  2. Hemang Patel says:

    Hello Robert,

    Just to comment on the Palm Treo 700Ws.   Yes, you are correct in the fact that they have limited flash space available on device (32MB Flash at this point for application storage etc.)  However, the device supports a 2gig Mini SD card as well.  This can be used for downloading/installing/executing of applications and other user data storage.

    Additionally, the recent firmware upgrade for MSFP on the Palm Treo 700s has helped in making the memory management more efficient in utilizing RAM space for application execution.

    Some other Windows Mobile PPC based devices that are out there include the HTC Wizard (PPC6700, XV6700, 8125) – all having 64Meg of Flash and mini SD card slot for expandable storage.  



  3. Computer Help says:

    Really great information, has given me an idea for a blog of my friends.

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