Hand-held Devices

December 16, 2009
Jill taylor

I watched a student reading her text from a hand-held device not too long ago in class, and wondered how she could read print that it fit such a small screen. Soon I'll find out for myself I've just been informed by a family member that a Nook is coming my way after the holidays.

The point that was made to me is that I spend mega bucks on novels every year that can be downloaded on the device for free, plus the newer books can be purchased electronically for greatly reduced cost. However, my reading experience includes much more than taking in the words — I manually underline and notate, mark pages for reference, and flip between those reference pages for further synthesis of ideas presented. This is especially true when I go through non-fiction texts, and I don’t know how far the Nook will support these types of reading fetishes.

Still, I may not have to lug a textbook with me to the airport anymore when I attend conferences. The last one I packed in my suitcase weighed in at just over 21 pounds.

I’ve been reading about the growing role of hand-held devices in private practice for years, but have assumed that they are primarily found in hospitals as I have yet to witness one in use in a medical office. For example, when I see drug reference or prescribing applications used in medical offices, they have always been on traditional client-server systems, with a monitor and keyboard set up in individual waiting rooms and a paper-based prescription generator.

Just as in my reading, is there something about the patient care experience that might make hand-held devices impractical for performing such tasks in private practice? Or is the technology or expected maintenance not affordable yet?

I watched a student reading her text from a hand-held device not too long ago in class, and wondered how she could read print that it fit such a small screen. Soon I’ll find out for myself — I’ve just been informed by a family member that a Nook is coming my way after the holidays.