... either donate your old PDA to Africa, or send them your buggy Trio.
From Reuters today.
By Alison McCook
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A mobile medical information company is collecting used personal digital assistants (PDAs) to send to doctors in Africa, and outfitting the devices with the latest, up-to-date health information.
After the company, Skyscape, sent e-mails to their subscribers asking for used handhelds on December 1 -- on occasion of World AIDS day -- they received between 40 and 50 devices in 48 hours, Skyscape's R. J. Mathew told Reuters Health.
The company plans to ship the devices to Uganda and other East African countries within one month.
In many instances, doctors working in rural parts of Africa have difficulty accessing the latest information about diseases such as AIDS, and how best to treat patients, Mathew noted.
"People do the best they can with what they have," he said. Access to the Internet, for instance, "is not as prevalent as we would like at all," he added.
The company plans to load what Mathew calls the "gold standard" in textbooks on to the devices, enabling doctors to carry the latest information at all times. Software allows doctors to look up particular diseases, getting treatment guidelines and relevant information about drugs, including dosages and possible interactions with other medications, Mathew explained.
In addition, the devices can be updated with new information whenever doctors find a way to link them up to the Internet, Mathew noted.
"All of a sudden, with this little device, you're going to have the very best medical information available everywhere," he said.
Mathew added that the company plans to send at least 400 handhelds to African doctors.
Skyscape is partnering with a charitable organization called SATELLIFE, which helps distribute medical information to doctors who have little access to it.
Mathew explained that the donated handhelds will contain approximately 250 references from medical textbooks, considered "bibles across many specialties," he said.
People who want to donate their used handhelds can go to www.skyscape.com/AIDSDAY to find out how, Mathew said. Generally, he asks that the devices be no more than 3 years old, and in working condition.
According to Skyscape, 7 million Americans replace an old PDA every year.