Direct comparison of a tablet computer and a personal digital assistant for point-of-care documentation in eye care.
New mobile computing devices including personal digital assistants (PDAs) and tablet computers have emerged to facilitate data collection at the point of care. Unfortunately, little research has been reported regarding which device is optimal for a given care setting. In this study we created and compared functionally identical applications on a Palm operating system-based PDA and a Windows-based tablet computer for point-of-care documentation of clinical observations by eye care professionals when caring for patients with diabetes. Eye-care professionals compared the devices through focus group sessions and through validated usability surveys. We found that the application on the tablet computer was preferred over the PDA for documenting the complex data related to eye care. Our findings suggest that the selection of a mobile computing platform depends on the amount and complexity of the data to be entered; the tablet computer functions better for high volume, complex data entry, and the PDA, for low volume, simple data entry.
Silvey, GM; Macri, JM; Lee, PP; Lobach, DF
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