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Dr. BlackBerry: eight apps making medicine more mobile

Dr. BlackBerry: eight apps making medicine more mobile

BlackBerry smartphones and physicians go together like Popeye and spinach. Here's a look eight medical-related BlackBerry applications that doctors, nurses and their assistants are using to improve your healthcare experience.

Physicians may not have been the first professionals to embrace BlackBerry devices and smartphones, in general. But they sure aren't wasting any time nowadays. Heck, Dr. John Halamka, CIO of both Beth Israel Deaconness and Harvard Medical School is regarded as a mobile guru, even appearing in his ownBlackBerry ad campaign.

Many doctors and nurses and healthcare organizations have resisted the move from traditional "feature" cell phones, pagers, recorders and other "old-school" gadgets to smartphones due to security concerns and comfort with existing technologies, says Fraser Edward, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's (RIM) manager of market development, healthcare.

But the tide is changing, and doctors and their medical staffs, like everyone else, have seen all the new BlackBerry/iPhone/Pre advertising, and they want in on the mobile technology revolution.

Luckily, BlackBerry devices in particular are known throughout the tech world for RIM's strict security safeguards. So BlackBerrys and medical environs could potentially be a match made in security/privacy-heaven.

At least according to Edward, who recently gave CIO.com a state-of-mobile-tech-in-healthcare update during which he showed off a crop of cool, new BlackBerry apps for doctors, nurses and medical staffs.

Here's a look at the medical-related BlackBerry applications that really caught my eye, along with a brief description of each, pricing information--where available--and a Web locale to obtain the software--or at least additional information on how to do so.

Now, let's move on to the latest and greatest in BlackBerry software for medical professionals and their patients.

Medical Reference & Drug Guides

Perhaps the most basic of medical applications for BlackBerry smartphones, mobile medical reference guides from software companies like QxMD and Epocrates Rx help promote patient safety by giving doctors and physicians immediate and simple access to information on specific drugs/narcotics, drug interactions, dosage recommendations and much more.

Such applications offer efficient, rapid and relevant search compared to printed medical reference guides. Guides also enable doctors or physicians to make or validate medical decisions at the point of care, decreasing time to diagnosis/prescription and reducing potential medical errors, according to RIM.

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