UCLA School of Medicine has decided to make material from its website accessible to third-year medical students via personal digital assistants (PDAs). In addition, the IT team has provided custom applications to medical students such as handbooks for clinical clerkship rotations, Office of Student Affairs information, and emergency guidelines. Additional applications being rolled out this month include a patient log application and a course and rotation evaluation survey application.

UCLA's Bob Trelease, associate director, Instructional Design and Technology Unit and associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, says that students ``are extremely mobile by their third year of medical school.'' Trelease noted that many doctors and residents were already using PDAs, so the UCLA administration knew that the adoption of handheld devices was well underway in the medical field, and even felt that ``PDAs will be as common as the stethoscope'' in medicine in the future.

UCLA uses mobile infrastructure software provided by AvantGo, Inc., a company based in Hayward, Calif. According to Trelease, the school chose the company’s mobile solution “because the company's platform-independent approach to the device provided us with the most flexibility in choice of handhelds. Additionally, AvantGo's solution allowed us to leverage our existing Web-based content and to keep our team focused on building new applications, rather than recoding existing applications for particular devices or learning new languages. The AvantGo solution provided the most power and flexibility while making the most use of our existing IT investments.''

``AvantGo is gaining strong momentum in the medical field and adds UCLA School of Medicine to an impressive list of universities and teaching hospitals using our technology today. Doctors and medical students are highly mobile by nature of their work and have been some of the true early adopters and beneficiaries of mobile and wireless technology,'' said Richard Owen, CEO of AvantGo.

AvantGo is offering a free, interactive, on-line mobility seminar on May 14 at 10:00 a.m. PT/ 1:00 p.m. ET / 18:00 GMT. To register, click here.