University of Louisville's Medical and Dental Schools Among First to Integrate Palm Handhelds Into Four-Year Curriculum

Schools Include Handhelds in Strategy to Better Connect Students with Patient Care

MILPITAS, Calif., Nov. 13, 2002 -- The University of Louisville is among of the first universities in the nation to make Palm(TM) handhelds part of its four-year curricula. The university's School of Medicine and School of Dentistry have purchased and distributed 1,100 Palm handhelds to students, Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) announced today. The university is a nationally recognized leader in healthcare with a reputation for leading-edge medical research and breakthrough medical treatments.

The purchase of the handhelds is an integral part of the university's strategy to more closely connect students to patient care in all aspects of the curriculum -- from academic studies traditionally dominated by lecture-style learning to hands-on clinical training.

"Most national medical organizations and educators agree that active, self-directed learning facilitates retention," says Ruth B. Greenberg, Ph.D., director of academic programs at the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center and director of the Office of Curriculum Development and Evaluation. "With handheld technology, we can create opportunities for students to become more actively engaged in their learning even in basic science classes. We can introduce them to clinical concepts from the first day they enter medical school rather than waiting until the third and fourth years of clinical work where handhelds are more commonly used."

Greenberg believes that students need to understand the role technology will play in their professional lives and be comfortable using the same tools they will use as practicing physicians and dentists.

"Handhelds are the future," she says. "They are sophisticated tools that can instantly connect healthcare professionals to the up-to-date resources they need at the point of patient care. This immediate access to information is a tremendous benefit and timesaver, especially in the era of managed healthcare, where time is a premium. Students shouldn't have to wait until their clinical rotations to use technology that is becoming prevalent."

The purchase of Palm m500 handhelds follows the medical school's one-year study of third-year students using Palm handhelds in their clinical rotations. Greenberg believes it's one of the first formal investigations of a large group using handhelds in medical education. More than 135 students, faculty and preceptors who oversee clinical rotations participated in the study, which confirmed what Greenberg expected -- handhelds are a valuable tool in medical education. More than 40 percent of the group used handhelds regularly in their clinical work, tapping into such resources as the ePocrates drug interaction database and the 5 Minute Clinical Consult, a reference tool that contains information on approximately 1,000 clinical topics, including basics, diagnostics, treatments, medications, and follow-up.

The university's Health Sciences center also plans to build a robust infrastructure to maximize the use of the handhelds and provide content and new applications to students via HotSync(R) stations. When students place their handhelds in the HotSync station cradle, applications and data can be downloaded onto their handhelds at the touch of a button. The university is using Novell ZENworks for Handhelds, a handheld systems management product from Novell, Inc., to centrally manage and update software applications, enabling the school to reduce the cost of providing IT support while keeping students and faculty up-to-date. The Palm handhelds were purchased from CDW Government Inc. (CDW-G), a leading provider of technology products and services for educational institutions and government agencies. CDW-G is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDW Computer Centers, Inc.

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SOURCE Palm, Inc.

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