1. Hoyt, Robert MD

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Medical Software Available for the Blackberry

I read with interest the article Using a Blackberry to Support Clinical Practice by Budd in the September/October 2007 issue of CIN. He mentioned the fact that there are limited free medical programs for the BlackBerry and listed several important medical web sites BlackBerry users can access. He did not, however, discuss fee-based medical software programs that can be downloaded to the BlackBerry platform. Most of the programs available for the Palm and Windows Mobile/PocketPC operating systems are now available for the BlackBerry, such as the Washington Manual, 5-Minute Clinical Consultant, Harrison's Textbook of Medicine, etc. This new BlackBerry functionality is important because many nurses and physicians don't want to lug around multiple devices, in order to access e-mail, the Internet and a variety of medical resources. Also appearing recently are medical software programs for the iPhone and Symbian operating systems. Only time will tell what will be the device or platform of choice that provides the greatest benefit for healthcare workers.


* Skyscape ( offers more than 300 titles for 30 medical specialties, to include 65 for nursing. Multiple pharmacy programs such as A-Z Drug Facts are available. Programs require an operating system of 4.1 or higher as well as a BlackBerry Reader downloaded to the device from their web site.


* Epocrates ( released their well known free drug programs for the BlackBerry platform in November 2007.


* Handango ( has several hundred medical titles, based on which BlackBerry model you own. As an example, for the 8800 model they list 255 available programs. Software is distributed as a self-extracting zip file.


* QxMD ( offers a free calculator for the BlackBerry that covers many formulas commonly used by Nephrologists, such as creatinine clearance. Calculator can be downloaded "over the air (OTA)" or to the desktop and then synched to the BlackBerry with the Desktop Manager program.


* PEPID RN Clinical Nursing Suite ( offers 2,200 disease and trauma topics, an extensive drug database, 400 medical calculators, protocols for BLS, ACLS, ATLS, PALS and RSI, nursing procedures and 600 anatomical illustrations and EKG rhythm strips for the BlackBerry.



Robert Hoyt, MD


Pensacola, FL