Handheld computers have evolved from geeky accessory to being an essential clinical tool, according to pediatricians who were early and enthusiastic users.

“If I get in my car in the morning and realize a couple of miles down the road that I’ve forgotten my handheld computer, I turn around and go get it because it’s become an essential part of how I get through the day,” said Andrew Spooner, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Section on Computers and Other Technologies and associate professor and director of the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Right now, handhelds such as the Palm Organizer and the Handspring Visor do everything from reminding you of your daughter’s soccer game to checking for drug interactions as you enter a new prescription. In the near future, as the technology and its applications continue to evolve, they may do a lot more....

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