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Hand-To-Hand Combat In a Crowded PDA Arena

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

As bleak as times may be for e-health start-ups, there's certainly no dearth of companies trying to get personal digital assistant devices into the hands of physicians. Although most of the buzz has been about e-prescribing, that's only the beginning of what start-ups aim to offer.

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PocketScript Inc.

The key factors in encouraging physician adoption of PDAs (personal digital assistants), according to PocketScript, include speed--information tools must absolutely not slow doctors down, and "stickiness," which the company defines as "never giving a doctor a reason to put the PDA down." PocketScript believes it has a system that fulfills these requirements. It is beginning with an e-prescribing application.

MedCompanion Inc.

MedCompanion Inc. is one of the few handheld players to lead with charge capture. Its platform-independent system allows physicians to capture diagnostic and procedural codes on a handheld device at the point of care. A built in rules engine guides doctors to the use of correct codes, reducing the risk of federal audits. MedCompanion's technology allows doctors to capture previously overlooked charges and will speed up the reimbursement process by enabling same-day submission of charges.

ePocrates Inc.

In a crowded field of companies marketing web-based handheld devices that allow physicians to perform a myriad of functions, ePocrates Inc. is trying to differentiate itself by offering less than its competition. That is, its idea is to ease physicians into using web-enabled devices with a package of prescription drug information.

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