Handhelds vs. netbooks

mini-9v2A comment from one of the NEJM Horizons conference summaries from AllergyNotes (see previous post) that I’ve been mulling over:

Many conference attendees had iPhones and seemed to love them. There were not too many Palm/Treo users. I noted that the Cleveland Clinic residents typically do not use PDAs. PCs are always available and the work flow is EMR-centered

What do we mean when we talk about mobile health, or ‘mhealth’. There was a time when Palm and Windows-driven PDAs were dominant, but I understand that these two operating systems now account for less than 50% of handheld use, with the iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Google Android accounting for the rest.

I am beginning to wonder whether the parallel rise in the popularity of social media applications and small, cheap, wireless enabled netbooks could see a future where handheld devices do not in fact kill off the computer, but rather that mobile health turns once again to the PC as its native platform.

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