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Concept: Personal digital assistant


BACKGROUND: There is growing awareness of the role of information technology in evidence-based practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of organizational context and nurse characteristics in explaining variation in nurses' use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile Tablet PCs for accessing evidence-based information. The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) model provided the framework for studying the impact of providing nurses with PDA-supported, evidence-based practice resources, and for studying the organizational, technological, and human resource variables that impact nurses' use patterns. METHODS: A survey design was used, involving baseline and follow-up questionnaires. The setting included 24 organizations representing three sectors: hospitals, long-term care (LTC) facilities, and community organizations (home care and public health). The sample consisted of 710 participants (response rate 58%) at Time 1, and 469 for whom both Time 1 and Time 2 follow-up data were obtained (response rate 66%). A hierarchical regression model (HLM) was used to evaluate the effect of predictors from all levels simultaneously. RESULTS: The Chi square result indicated PDA users reported using their device more frequently than Tablet PC users (p = 0.001). Frequency of device use was explained by ‘breadth of device functions’ and PDA versus Tablet PC. Frequency of Best Practice Guideline use was explained by ‘willingness to implement research,’ ‘structural and electronic resources,’ ‘organizational slack time,’ ‘breadth of device functions’ (positive effects), and ‘slack staff’ (negative effect). Frequency of Nursing Plus database use was explained by ‘culture,’ ‘structural and electronic resources,’ and ‘breadth of device functions’ (positive effects), and ‘slack staff’ (negative). ‘Organizational culture’ (positive), ‘breadth of device functions’ (positive), and ‘slack staff ’(negative) were associated with frequency of Lexi/PEPID drug dictionary use. CONCLUSION: Access to PDAs and Tablet PCs supported nurses' self-reported use of information resources. Several of the organizational context variables and one individual nurse variable explained variation in the frequency of information resource use.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Nursing, Organization, Nurse, Personal digital assistant, Tablet PC, Resources, Touchscreen


A new gait phase detection system for continuous monitoring based on wireless sensorized insoles is presented. The system can be used in gait analysis mobile applications, and it is designed for real-time demarcation of gait phases. The system employs pressure sensors to assess the force exerted by each foot during walking. A fuzzy rule-based inference algorithm is implemented on a smartphone and used to detect each of the gait phases based on the sensor signals. Additionally, to provide a solution that is insensitive to perturbations caused by non-walking activities, a probabilistic classifier is employed to discriminate walking forward from other low-level activities, such as turning, walking backwards, lateral walking, etc. The combination of these two algorithms constitutes the first approach towards a continuous gait assessment system, by means of the avoidance of non-walking influences.

Concepts: Algorithm, Assessment, Phase, Transducer, Personal digital assistant, Sensor, Sensors, Locomotion


Touch-screen mobile phones/devices (TMPs/Ds) are increasingly used in hospitals. They may act as a mobile reservoir for microbial pathogens. The rates of microbial contamination of TMPs/Ds and keypad mobile phones (KMPs) with respect to different variables including use by healthcare workers (HCWs)/non-HCWs and the demographic characteristics of users were investigated.

Concepts: Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant, Push-button telephone, IPhone


The Natural Cycles application is a fertility awareness-based contraceptive method, which uses dates of menstruation and basal body temperature to inform couples whether protected intercourse is needed to prevent pregnancies. Our purpose with this study is to investigate the contraceptive efficacy of the mobile application by evaluating the perfect- and typical-use Pearl Index.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Birth control, Menstrual cycle, Abortion, Personal digital assistant, Pregnancy test, Mobile software, Mobile computing


With continued increases in smartphone ownership, researchers and clinicians are investigating the use of this technology to enhance the management of chronic illnesses such as bipolar disorder (BD). Smartphones can be used to deliver interventions and psychoeducation, supplement treatment, and enhance therapeutic reach in BD, as apps are cost-effective, accessible, anonymous, and convenient. While the evidence-based development of BD apps is in its infancy, there has been an explosion of publicly available apps. However, the opportunity for mHealth to assist in the self-management of BD is only feasible if apps are of appropriate quality.

Concepts: Medicine, Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant, Smartphone, IPhone, Nokia


Combining low-cost wireless EEG sensors with smartphones offers novel opportunities for mobile brain imaging in an everyday context. Here we present the technical details and validation of a framework for building multi-platform, portable EEG applications with real-time 3D source reconstruction. The system - Smartphone Brain Scanner - combines an off-the-shelf neuroheadset or EEG cap with a smartphone or tablet, and as such represents the first fully portable system for real-time 3D EEG imaging. We discuss the benefits and challenges, including technical limitations as well as details of real-time reconstruction of 3D images of brain activity. We present examples of brain activity captured in a simple experiment involving imagined finger tapping, which shows that the acquired signal in a relevant brain region is similar to that obtained with standard EEG lab equipment. Although the quality of the signal in a mobile solution using an off-the-shelf consumer neuroheadset is lower than the signal obtained using high-density standard EEG equipment, we propose mobile application development may offset the disadvantages and provide completely new opportunities for neuroimaging in natural settings.

Concepts: Brain, Neuroimaging, Neuroscience, Electroencephalography, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Personal digital assistant, Smartphone, Mobile computing


Mobile phones have become nearly ubiquitous, offering a promising means to deliver health interventions. However, little is known about smartphone applications (apps) for cancer.

Concepts: Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant, Smartphone, Motorola, IPhone, Nokia


Mobile devices are a ubiquitous part of American life, yet how families use this technology has not been studied. We aimed to describe naturalistic patterns of mobile device use by caregivers and children to generate hypotheses about its effects on caregiver-child interaction.

Concepts: Food, Personal digital assistant, Mobile device, Input device, Mobile computers


New (mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, and social media) and traditional media (television) have come to dominate the lives of many children and adolescents. Despite all of this media time and new technology, many parents seem to have few rules regarding the use of media by their children and adolescents.

Concepts: Vacuum tube, Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant, Smartphone, Radio, Motorola, IPhone, Nokia


Abstract The ubiquity and portability of mobile devices provide additional opportunities for information retrieval. People can easily access mobile applications anytime and anywhere when they need to acquire specific context-aware recommendations (contextual offer) from their friends. This study, thus, represents an initial attempt to understand users' acceptance of a mobile-based social reviews platform, where recommendations from friends can be obtained with mobile devices. Based on the consumption value theory, a theoretical model is proposed and empirically examined using survey data from 218 mobile users. The findings demonstrate that contextual offers based on users' profiles, access time, and geographic positions significantly predict their value perceptions (utilitarian, hedonic, and social), which, in turn, affect their intention to use a mobile social reviews platform. This study is also believed to provide some useful insights to both research and practice.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Value, Virtue, Morality, Personal digital assistant, Utilitarianism, Intrinsic value